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#25 stories – Evolving support gives people a chance at living

Tony began working in the care sector 37 years ago and for the last 25 years he's been supporting people with learning disabilities, autism, or both. For many people, change is a challenge, but not for Tony. His positivity towards ever evolving support is inspirational.

He explains: “It was more difficult then. The change began when person-centred planning came in, we weren’t making choices for people, instead we were supporting people to make their own choices and achieve their goals.”

When Tony first began supporting people, it was a different world. The emphasis was on day services and in providing set activities for a group of people. Now it’s about supporting individuals to choose what they want to do, to follow their interests. Now people have more control over their own choices, their community is accessible to them. They can access transport and go where they want to go.

tony supporting a person we support to drink

He continues: “I’m happy to see the people we support are empowered to make choices; it’s so rewarding.”

Whilst there is also more paperwork, he explains: “I don’t mind really, I make time for paperwork and my manager gives me time to complete it.”

As support has evolved, he's found he has more time working with people and providing direct support. This enables him to better support individuals to make their own choices, and to give them time to do that.

The difference time makes, is obvious. He explains that one of the gentlemen he supports, Clarence, has gone from saying single words to short sentences. He describes how much happier Clarence is, explaining that he is relaxed now, he’s been on holidays, and to the theatre.

Tony has seen this change in other people too. He concludes: “There’s nothing people can’t do now with the support they have.”

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