A success story about James

James has autism, Downs Syndrome and a learning disability. He is a likeable and endearing young man who lived with his family in Middlesbrough until age 24. Throughout his life James was supported and cared for by his Mum, Dad, Sister, Brother and Nan. It was agreed that the time was right for James to move into his own home so he could live a more independent lifestyle supported by his own team of staff.

Initially James’s family were apprehensive about him moving away from the family home and into his own tenancy. Among many fears they were concerned he might move out of the community he knew and grew up in or that as a family they would find it difficult to maintain regular and meaningful contact with James.

With the support of his family and Erimus Housing a bungalow was found for James within walking distance of his family home and one that met his needs

In August of 2012 James moved into his new home supported by his own staff team Initially James found the move exciting yet daunting due to the significant change in his life but with the support of his family and staff team he was supported to settle in.

During this time the team liaised closely with James’s family and professionals to work together to make the experience a positive one for James. This enabled staff to meet James needs with care, compassion and understanding supporting him to develop and form trusting relationships. It also meant the people important in James’s life worked together to ensure he always has a good quality of life

James is now settled and adapted to his new home. He enjoys spending time with his team. James’s family are an important part of his life and they maintain regular contact with him and are actively involved with Jame’s day to day life. James has been supported to take regular holidays to Primrose Valley which is a family favourite destination. His mum recently bought a family caravan for him to use at Primrose Valley. James has also taken private tennis lessons although he has decided he does not want to pursue this activity anymore. James is more able to make personal choices about what he wants to do and his team facilitate him to do these activities. James uses his local community for many of the services he needs, i.e. shops, cafes, leisure centre and health services for regular health appointments. James enjoys bowling, going to the Alan Shearer Centre in Newcastle and Light Water Valley where he enjoys the thrill of the rides. He enjoys regular family meals at the local pub and visits to his family. Recently James attended a family christening supported by ESPA staff. James thoroughly enjoyed himself and his family are extremely happy that James is now more able to enjoy himself and be part of family celebrations.

We know James is happy with his new lifestyle because of the many positive relationships and experiences he has. His communication and language is also improving and he is making more and more choices about how he wants to live his life. This is just a little snapshot of James life and his personal experience of a huge life changing experience that turned out well



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