New beginnings… In early June two young women experienced the thrill of moving into their first home and starting more independent lives in their own home. It was a journey that began in October last year when we first met Daniela and Ellie to talk about providing support to them in their new home. The people we support and their families often tell us the move from home or college is a difficult one. We try to make this process as stress-free as possible and that’s why over the past 8 months we worked closely with not only Daniela, Ellie and their relatives, but the local council and the housing association to plan the move. As well as ensuring a smooth transition for Daniela and Ellie as they moved to their next step in life, the close teamwork has helped their families feel more involved in their daughters’ journeys towards greater independence and given them the reassurance they needed at this emotional time. Developing personalised support is an incredibly exciting and rewarding experience for us. Their families have been involved every step of the way, including in the recruitment of team members. Sharon, Ellie's Mum said: The fact that Ellie has accepted her new routine is a testament at how comfortable she feels in the Hilders. This huge relief cannot be underestimated! and we accredit this success to the lovely carers who look after Ellie, making her feel at home and spending quality time getting to know and understand her. We are extremely grateful to all the staff for giving us the confidence and assurance that Ellie is in good hands and that her emotional needs, as well as her physical needs, are being understood and met. Like all successful teamwork, good communication and planning was crucial. The staff team worked really hard to get to know Daniela and Ellie and to understand how they like to be supported. Time was spent with their families in their own homes to fully understand their needs and their individual Support Plans were developed together - and there was also multidisciplinary teamwork between our team, Surrey County Council Social Services and Daniela and Ellie's families. Terry Maguire, Manager at Surrey Support Service says, I recall the families saying how wonderful it was for them and their daughters to be so involved in all of the planning. I met both Daniela and Ellie during their transition to their new home and I could sense their excitement as they helped create their own personal spaces in their new home, as well as a great sense of anticipation at meeting their new support staff and bonding together as house mates and friends. Both Daniela and Ellie now have their own tenancies and are starting on a journey to more independence in respect of where they live, who supports them and what activities they wish to pursue as they move forward. Exciting times lie ahead!