"Staff don't see limitations when they support me"

Tom is one of the people we support at Voyage (DCA) Somerset & Devon who lives in a supported living bungalow. After a year in his supported living bungalow Tom wanted to tell us his journey with Voyage Care in his own words.

"My name is Tom, I am 35 years old and I have cerebral palsy.

After moving out of home when I was younger, over the years I have lived in different residential and respite homes.

In 2017 my family helped me with acquiring my own bungalow. Before moving in I was supported by my mum and social worker at looking for care providers to support me in my own home. Having previously stayed at Woodside Respite Home in Minehead, I knew about Voyage Care and wanted them to support me within my own home.

When I found out Voyage (DCA) Somerset & Devon would be supporting me within my own home I was very happy.

On 23 October 2017, I was supported by the staff with moving in to my new bungalow.

Since then my life has changed drastically. I now have one to one support 24 hours a day. I am able to make my own decisions about what I do every day, I manage my own home and have been supported by my family and staff to enable me to decorate my home the way I want it.

Now I am in my own home, I am able to choose how I spend my days and decide what I want to do every day.

Staff supported me with getting my own car, which has now enabled me to expand my horizons and attend and participate in events, trips and activities I have always wanted too.

Recently I have been supported to attend a summer ball, music festivals, go for a day trip to Longleat for my birthday and recently I travelled to Nottingham for Gay Pride.

With support from my staff I am able to actively participate in managing all areas of my own life and I feel like a proper adult.

We recently had a summer beach themed party hosted by Voyage (DCA) Somerset and Devon. Each person supported by the service was involved in different parts of the party. I was in charge of greeting people and handing out flower leis to everyone.

The party was a success and I enjoyed working as a team with everyone to make sure the night was successful.

I have recently been supported by staff to look for a job; staff supported me with finding jobs, completing application forms and attending interviews. I was recently hired to become a Quality Checker for Voyage Care, this was a huge achievement for me and will allow me the opportunity to engage with others about the care and support they receive and have a positive impact on their lives.

I want to ensure other people are supported to achieve their goals and aspirations like I am.

Voyage (DCA) Somerset and Devon have now started to do a service newsletter and the management team have asked me to be involved with this. I now go and visit other people supported by the service to interview them for stories to go into the newsletter every month. This has been a good opportunity for me to work and build my writing skills and has allowed me to be creative.

It will be coming up to the year anniversary of when I moved into my bungalow and I have had a brilliant year, I have achieved a lot of goals and look forward to achieving more in the future.

I would like to go on holiday abroad, build a career, support and look after my mum, as it has always been her looking after me. Spend more time with my twin sister, Hannah, my nephews and my new niece; continue building friendships and meeting new people.

Without the support of my staff, I would not have been able to achieve a lot of the things I have done in the last year. Staff don’t see limitations when they support me, staff see possibilities and encourage me to achieve my goals and be as independent as possible."

Dictated by Tom and written by Amanda Barrington, Field Support Supervisor at Voyage (DCA) Somerset and Devon.

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