As a supported accommodation provider we work with external agencies to provide a huge variety of training sessions, activities, support groups, volunteering opportunities and courses which all work to enhance individual experience and promote personal development.
As a condition of our residents’ tenancy, we expect them to engage with their support workers and take advantage of the different opportunities that are on offer.
However this engagement is not immediate, and often it is the small steps that are the most important, and that lead to the best results. This was the case with current resident Smurf.
When Smurf first arrived at Cosgarne he was reluctant to engage and mostly kept to himself, staying in his room and isolating himself from others.
He rarely left, even to eat, and so was living off a diet of pot noodles and other cheap, processed food which was not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. His room was similarly neglected and described by staff as ‘becoming a health hazard’.
The support that he was offered was therefore tailored to his specific needs, and so rather than expecting him to volunteer on litter picks or attend structured activities right away, he was instead helped to keep on top of tidying his room, and encouraged to take advantage of the home cooked meals available at lunch time.
Change is never immediate, but Smurf was willing to put the work in, and so after a few weeks he made incredible progress.
He now goes every day to eat lunch with the other residents, and has come on in leaps and bound since then.
From beginning to engage with art group, to signing up for courses including team building and rights and responsibilities, he is almost unrecognisable from the person who first arrived.
He now earns Time Credits to go swimming, can regularly be found socialising with other residents, and has even applied to start college in September to do English and Maths.
“I don’t know why I’ve changed, I’ve just changed since I’ve been here” Smurf explains.
Bella, his support worker, said “He is a different person than when he first arrived, and hopefully the growth will continue.”
All of this progress came from just a few small steps, and from the work and effort that he put in to achieve them.
It can seem daunting to make the first step towards anything, but Smurf has shown that this first step can open up the door to so much more.
We are so proud of his progress, and hope that he can act as an example and an inspiration to all those who are working towards taking small steps of their own.