Ben’s story - Moving in and moving on
Ben is a gentle soul: perceptive, kind and a pleasure to work with, say his support team. His team were created around Ben’s personal needs, specifically recruited as they are deaf themselves and, like Ben, communicate using British Sign Language.
Ben was supported with a creative and personalised approach throughout the transition from a secure hospital, where he’d been living for over ten years, to his own home in Hampshire. This enabled Ben to grow in confidence and make more choices for himself about how he wants to enjoy each day.
Now Ben can explain his wants and needs in ways he never could before. Communicating with his support staff in the way he chooses has helped to develop a trusting and understanding relationship between them, and you can clearly see that Ben is relishing in his new freedom.
The team, including a Positive Behaviour Support consultant, took the time to understand what Ben likes even before he moved in. He watched video tours of his new house before the move, sent by his newly recruited support team, and was able to choose curtains and furniture himself. This meant that when he arrived, he had items he recognised, from his favourite soft furnishings in 1970s decor complete with brown flower designs, to the warm brightness of fairy lights all around his home.
After a period of adjustment where Ben felt safest in his own bedroom, with the patience and support of his team he learnt to use different parts of the house in the way he wanted to. Setting up simple habits like having a morning cup of tea while looking out into his garden, are things that Ben now takes great pleasure in.
The combination of an understanding team around him and living a normal life for the first time in over a decade, enabled Ben to thrive and search out new things to do. He loves meeting new people and seeing new places, especially trips out to cities where he can explore old buildings.
Since his move to his new home, Ben has been able to live a fuller, happier life of his choosing. He even has a new car, which he is hugely proud of. It’s giving him the freedom to go out more, including to a local club where he enjoys playing pool – at which his support workers say they are yet to beat him.
Ben now lives the normal life he’s been dreaming of for more than ten years. To get to this point the team put in a lot of hard work but crucially took the time to listen and understand what Ben wanted and needed.