Jack’s Sensory Paradise

At Voyage Care we understand the impact a change of environment may have on somebody. Jack has autism and challenging behaviour, he decided he’d like to move into a self-contained flat in the house. We put all possible measures in place to make him feel comfortable throughout the transition.

Jack moved to Bracken Villa, our residential care home in 2013. In one of Jack’s person-centred support meetings we identified his goal of becoming more independent. This progressed into him wanting to move from the main residential home into one of the self-contained flats. The flats allow vulnerable people to live independently while accessing the care and support they need from trained support workers. This move allowed Jack to continue to be supported by familiar staff and still have the option to go into the main house.

Shortly after the move Jack started to become withdrawn, displaying challenging behaviour and experiencing an irregular sleeping pattern. The team spotted this quickly, and worked with Jack, his family and an occupational therapist to help him settle into the flat.

The support team recognised that Jack needed sensory input including lighting and personalised decoration to suit his individual taste. So, the plans for a sensory flat went ahead to improve his social skills and help him relax. Staff identified the visual, tactile inputs in the flat and re-decorated to suit his needs. Jack’s bedroom is now minimal and painted in neutral colours. He has lavender essential oil therapy in the evening and night to help him relax. The living room is the epitome of joy, decorated with lots of vinyls on the walls to reflect his personal interest and glowing water tubes. The vinyls are smooth with a ridged edge to increase Jack’s sensory input.

The lavender essential oils and glowing water tubes involve mindful activities, which help him feel more relaxed and engaged in activities. He now communicates and expresses himself with cards and uses the feelings chart. Jack uses these tools to help him tell the support team things like switch the TV on and the foods he likes or needs based on his religion.

Since joining Bracken Villa eight years ago, Jack has built strong relationships with the staff team and his challenging behaviour has significantly dropped. Jack asked one of the members of staff if they would like to watch a film with him last week, which is a first! He has learnt independent living skills and keeps his flat clean and tidy. This is a breakthrough and Voyage Care are proud of his progress.

My favourite part of working at Bracken Villa is interacting with the residents, they are all such characters and seeing people we support thrive really makes me happy. Another aspect of Bracken Villa I love is that we regularly support local businesses, our gardener is from the local area and we are often on the hunt for new independent businesses in the area which we can help

Sarah, Support Worker

Voyage Care want to ensure Jack continues to grow his independent living skills, after seeing the positive impact it is had on his life. Sarah has arranged for a sensory sofa, projector and mood cube to be fitted in his flat. Before COVID-19 Jack was attending day services every week and learning new skills. He even volunteered at his local pub’s Wednesday night disco, helping collect glasses and chairs. Jack has decided that once local services re-open he would like to attend cooking lessons.

*Names have been changed for confidentiality

Located in Retford, Bracken Villa provides care and support for up to eight people with a learning disability who may also have mental health needs, cerebral palsy and autism. Bracken Villa is currently looking for two housemates to join the main residential building. To find out more, visit the service page here.


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