How Dave’s negative experience ‘evolved’ for the better

Dave has lived in Sutton Coldfield for many years. He has a moderate learning disability and scoliosis of the spine and is very quiet and shy. Due to Dave’s learning disability, he has very limited communication skills so will often use Makaton to communicate to others.

Shortly after moving into our Sutton Coldfield home, Dave started to attend a day service, which was ran by the local authority. He attended five days a week.

After 13 years of Dave attending his day placement daily, his care and support hours were reassessed and due to dual funding, Dave’s visits to the day service would have to come to an end. This wasn’t only an anxious time for Dave, as his routine was about to change, but also a difficult period for staff as they prepared for how this was going to impact him.

Staff members at the home contacted advocacy support and sought out an independent advocate for him. Several advocates held MDT meetings to discuss the impact the changes would have on Dave and how staff members could support him through this transition.

After numerous meetings, it was decided that Dave would undertake a reduction programme. This would entail reducing the days Dave attended the day service, gradually over a period of time.

Staff at his home began to research alternative day activities. Dave enjoys attending the local disco each week and it was here that he first heard of a new programme that SOLO were undertaking – Evolve.

The programme brings a small group of adults with learning and physical difficulties together to learn new skills and access multiple community opportunities.

Dave was supported by his staff to attend an induction day at Evolve. Dave was very quiet and reluctant to engage with people. However, after a short while he started to relax and interact with others on the programme. By the end of the induction day, Dave was using the kitchen independently to make himself a cup of tea.

Dave was supported throughout the transition by using positive behaviour support while being offered reassurance at times of uncertainty and anxiety. At the beginning, Dave was taken to Evolve once a week by staff members, but now has progressed and attends twice weekly. He now accesses the programme independently, using a door to door taxi service.

Dave thoroughly enjoys his time at Evolve and has had lots new positive experiences including meeting new friends. What started out as a negative situation and experience, has now changed Dave’s outlook on life.