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Neil’s time to shine

Neil sustained a brain injury in his 20’s after a road traffic accident. We were pleased to have him join us here at Willowbrook nearly 11 years ago. Neil is very independent but needs support with his daily living skills and organising his days. Our team at Willowbrook support Neil to develop and learn new skills such as cooking, cleaning and money management.

“My name is Neil and I live at Willowbrook in Leicester. I have lived here for 11 years and throughout this time have enjoyed completing weekly art classes at a local college to get creative and learn new skills.

I travel to my art class twice a week in taxis, I have made friends with the taxi drivers and they know me well, this helps me to keep my independence and grows my confidence.

“Once I arrive at college, I make a milky tea, I don’t have sugar as I gave this up to help my health! I am greeted by my teachers who let me, and my classmates know what today’s project will be. We have different materials such as wax crayons, chalks, paints and colouring crayons. Some days we have larger projects which include learning new skills.

“Some of the examples of recent work are:

“Decorative Tiles: This is when we have been given a blank tile, using materials in the classroom we decorate these and make them individual. I chose to glue different coloured glitter and buttons to mine. This is my favourite piece of work!

“Wildlife Paper mâché: I created a bird using different coloured paper and gluing this to a model of a bird, this made the bird colourful and bright.

“Wooden Skyscraper Scene: We recently used woodwork techniques to create a landscape of America and the skyscrapers. I glued the wood together and painted them in different bright colours.

“Salt Dough: We made salt dough as a class and all got a piece to mould into different shapes. My ideas were to make a tray to store different items in and I also chose to mould some hedgehogs. Once they were baked, we got to paint these.

“At lunch time I enjoy a packed lunch, which I make at home and take into college in my Leicester City lunch box. I am a huge Leicester City fan and have a season ticket to attend the home matches! In my lunch box I usually have sandwiches, a sausage roll, fruit and some crisps. After lunch we continue with our projects and once the day ends, I am collected by my taxi and go home.

“The work I make can also be themed to events through the year such as Easter, Christmas and Bonfire night. I take all my art work back to Willowbrook showing them to the staff and others that I live with. I also enjoy showing these to my cousin when she visits the service to see me. The staff team display these for everyone to see when they visit.”

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