Shona is a person we support at Ruddington View, one of our specialist behavioural support services in Nottinghamshire. Before joining us, Shona had a rocky start to life and experienced trauma that deeply impacted her both physically and emotionally.
From a young age, Shona presented some support needs. As she grew up and journeyed along the road to adulthood, Shona found herself in an unexpected situation. A challenging relationship deeply impacted Shona’s needs, causing them to become quite complicated.
With difficulty trusting others, Shona wrestled with controlling her emotions and behaviours. Unable to focus on the future, Shona and her support network knew she needed specialist support.
A long time ago, Shona was in a serious, long-term relationship. Early in the relationship, she found herself in a dangerous situation, when her partner became physically abusive. Shona struggled to cope and her vulnerable mental state left her trying to block out the world around her.
Sadly, her partner took advantage of this and influenced her into addiction. Creating a vicious cycle of dependency on him, Shona lost control of her life.
After feeling unwell for some time, Shona visited her doctor. At her appointment, she discovered she was pregnant, which took her by surprise. A shocked Shona broke the news to her partner; with a secret hope it would encourage him to treat her better. Sadly, this wasn’t the case and Shona’s situation worsened until, eventually, he was arrested and jailed. Shona was finally free from an abusive relationship that had impacted her life, and her needs, for several years.
But living in a hostel, pregnant and alone, Shona’s circumstances were far from ideal, and her choices were very limited. It was at this point that Shona made the heart-breaking decision to end her pregnancy and seek much-needed support, so she could start putting the pieces of her life back together.
Shona’s previous relationship and the loss of her baby had a devastating emotional impact on her and, as a result, she began presenting challenging behaviours. Suffering from extreme mood dips, Shona became easily upset and experienced episodes of anger, often lashing out at those around her.
Previously placed with another provider, Shona’s first home wasn’t suited to her needs or preferences. Being unable to control her behaviours left her feeling helpless and she quickly became withdrawn.
Shona has a great level of insight into her behaviours and felt uncomfortable with how they presented. She knew this wasn’t the person she wanted to be and needed specialist support to move on with her life.
Luckily, with help from her local CAMHS team, Shona secured a place at Ruddington View, where our team of dedicated Behavioural Specialists could provide her with expert support, tailored to her individual needs. With this in place, Shona knew she finally had a chance to put her past behind her and focus on her future.
Life at Ruddington View
Moving to Ruddington View was a dream come true for Shona. A quiet cottage-style home in a pretty country village was a welcome change of scenery! From the moment she stepped through the door, she knew she was where she needed to be.
At first, Shona moved into one of our Unplanned Care bungalows on a 12-week placement. During this time, she built relationships with her Support Workers and housemates, becoming a valued member of the home.
That’s why Shona was over the moon when our team offered her a permanent place in the main house! For Shona, this meant she could continue to receive ongoing residential support, focusing on her goals and aspirations. It also gave her a stable home and a sense of security she’d not experienced before.
Feeling nervous about moving into the main house, Shona’s team supported her throughout the transition. Involving her in the process, Shona was at the heart of the decision making. She was given a choice bedroom and, once chosen, her team helped her decorate it in her favourite colour – pink! They worked together to move Shona’s belongings and arrange her furniture exactly as she wanted it.
Shona’s team quickly recognised how important decision making was to her and supported her to start taking control of daily tasks. Engaging Shona in mealtimes was a fun way to encourage her to make choices and added structure to her daily routine. With support from her team, Shona wrote her own shopping lists, bought groceries, and prepared her own meals.
This was a big turning point for Shona. Before joining Ruddington View, her lack of confidence prevented her from doing things like this for herself. But with a team that has her best interests at heart, Shona was on the road to success!
Freedom for choices
At Ruddington View, Shona is encouraged to be her most authentic self. Her team understand her story and how this has affected her emotionally. Encouraged to ride the waves of her emotions, Shona can be open and honest with them. Being able to freely express herself has helped Shona build trust, with reassurance that her team are always there for her.
Regularly indulging in self-care, Shona’s team empower her to make decisions about her wellbeing. While her team ensure she stays on track with her medication, Shona takes care of the fun stuff – like keeping active!
Shona regularly goes swimming and recently invested in a pedometer, aiming to do 10,000 steps a day. A previous cappuccino enthusiast, Shona expressed she wanted to reduce her caffeine intake, as she knew it could help reduce her anxiety. Her team respected this decision and supported her to make healthier choices to accomplish this goal.
As a result of our consistent and compassionate support, Shona has even managed to quit smoking! Her team are proud of her commitment to caring for herself and continue to support all her choices.
Maintaining a sisterly relationship
Shona is a big animal-lover, with a particular fondness for cats. Her sister’s cat, Miggins, loves to spend time with Shona when she stays on Saturday nights. Before the support of her team, Shona wasn’t able to stay with her family.
With young children in the house, the environment could be noisy, triggering Shona’s behaviours. From the moment she moved into Ruddington View, Shona was supported to meet her sister in the local town for lunch and shopping trips. Her team know how important staying connected with family is and have worked with her to help her maintain this key relationship.
With their expert support, Shona’s mental health has also improved, meaning she can better manage her triggers. Eventually, she felt confident enough to stay over at her sister’s house. As her confidence increased, overnight stays became more frequent, and Shona now regularly spends Saturday nights with her sister. This was great news for a hungry cat like Miggins as he knows Shona will always get up to feed him!
Goals are an important part of Shona’s positive support, so her team work with her to help her achieve her aspirations. Her first goal was to go on holiday to Blackpool – somewhere she has fond childhood memories of.
The team understood how important this was to Shona, and got to work supporting her to find and book a hotel, budget her spending money, and buy what she needed for the trip.
Shona likes routine and being well organised, both of which help reduce her anxieties. Shona worries about money too so, ahead of the trip, her team made a social story to communicate with her about the trip and to support with budgeting. This approach helped Shona feel more organised and reassured her about the activities they had planned and where her money was being spent.
After thorough planning, Shona went to Blackpool for three nights. Accompanied by Support Workers, she enjoyed trips to the beach, browsing seaside gift shops, and playing games at the hotel.
Shona’s first independent holiday was such a success, she’s now aspiring to go abroad with her sister! She’s so dedicated to achieving this goal, she’s already bought her passport!
New, meaningful relationships
Understandably, Shona’s past experiences have dented her trust in other people. But with our specialist support, Shona’s now finding faith and has been able to build new, meaningful relationships. Her friends and support team at Ruddington View provide her with a safety net that has helped her to trust people again.
Shona’s now in a loving relationship with a new partner. Although she still feels insecure at times, Shona knows she’s safe. In fact, she’s so confident in her new relationship, she’s now engaged!
With her new relationship status, came a new goal – to move in with her fiancé and get married. Shona has excellent insight into her behaviours and challenges, and knows she needs to approach this one step at a time, with the support of her team.
Focusing on the future
For Shona, life has changed dramatically since moving to Ruddington View. With the help of her team, she’s made peace with the sadness of her past. With our support she’s getting stronger every day and regaining much-needed control over her life.
Shona’s a warm, caring person who focuses on the positive side of life. Shona’s team have supported her to put her own happiness first and take control of her future. With consistent support, a routine, and meaningful activities, they’ve helped Shona put the past behind her and focus on building a bright future.
Find specialist support near you!
To find out more about our specialist support and how we can help you, a client, or a loved one, fill out our quick form and a member of the team will get back to you.