Leonard Cheshire Disability - St Anthony's
Start date: Feb 1, 2015,
End date: Apr 30, 2016
Leonard Cheshire Disability is the UK’s leading charity supporting people with disability. Every year, we support thousands of people in the UK and around the world with physical and learning disabilities to fulfill their potential and live the lives they choose. We work for a society in which every person is equally valued. We believe that people with disabilities should have the freedom to live their lives the way they choose - with the opportunity and support to live independently, to contribute economically and to participate fully in society. In order to achieve this, we rely on well-trained, committed volunteers to provide high quality support to the people we work with.
The EVS project at St Anthony's is expected to feed into the above mentioned greater organisational goal through the 2 full-time volunteers attached to the project. The objectives are a) to provide our residents with the opportunities to live an active life, b) to assist residents in fulfilling long term personal goals and c) to educate European youth and our local community on disability issues.
St Anthony’s is a care home for 35 adults with physical disabilities including MS, stroke, brain injury and cerebral palsy. The majority of residents have acquired their disabilities which means that they previously lived independent, active lives, and wish to continue as best as possible with that type of lifestyle. The core value of St Anthony's is, therefore, to promote independence and provide excellent care in a person-centered approach where the wishes and needs of the individual guides the support delivered. The service strives to reflect a home from home feeling and put residents in control of their own lifestyle to the best possible extent.
The main role for the volunteers is to support the social aspects of the residents' lives. By using the person-centered approach, St Anthony's has identified two social areas where extra support is needed to accommodate the wishes of the residents, namely communication and occupational/physiotherapy. The project activities will therefore be centered around these two areas with special focus on assistive technology. Through assistive technology, the residents will become more independent and better able to express choices and wishes. Assistive Technology is any device that helps a less able person do something that more able people can already do. The volunteers will work with at least 4 service users on a daily basis to improve their communication and/or to help them get the most out of the communication tools they are already using. Simultaneously, the volunteers will also support the daily occupational therapy activities such as art classes, IT classes, cookery classes, reading group, seasonal activities and trips out of the care home. This will train the residents in a range of skills and increase their self-confidence and independence. The one-to-one support the volunteers can offer will allow for individual attention that will enhance the process, and accommodate to a higher degree for individuality.
St Anthony's is a lovely single storey house in the area of Wolverhampton, West Midlands. The volunteers will live in a newly decorated accommodation suitable for two people. Volunteers will have their own bedroom and shared use of bathroom and lounge in a detached house a stones throw away from the service. The accommodation is of a very high standard with stunning vista of farmland and greenery. Three meals a day will be provided in addition to free access to snacks from the kitchen such as fruits, yogurts, salads, cold meats etc 24hrs. All bedding and towels are supplied and Internet access is available. The volunteers will receive £200 in pocket money.
The expected impact of project on the residents is that the enhanced individual support during activities will encourage residents to set new goals and be more open to try new things and in particular to contribute more to the local community. This will improve residents confidence initially which we envisaged will lead to long term benefits of getting residents to do things like volunteering, organising events, talking about disability issues in the local community and be more involved in decisions made locally and nationally in regards to the care sector and disability issues.
The expected impact of the project for the volunteers is for them to become ambassadors for disability issues. It is expected that the participants will continue to promote disability rights and work towards a society that values disabled and non-disabled people equally. In addition, participants will improve their social skills through working and communicating with diverse people and gaining a better understanding and solidarity with people who face barriers to participate in society. The placement will provide the volunteers with the opportunity to gain insight into the social services sector, which may help them decide on a career path.
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