Keeping in touch `Curly Whirly’ style!

Lead support worker Lee Bridgewater has designed Curly Whirly News, a monthly newsletter, to keep Shirley’s family and colleagues up to date with her support.

The newsletter features photos of Shirley’s activities and it includes reminders about her up-and-coming appointments. This is used by her core team so they can develop ideas and plan goals and be consistent in the way they support Shirley.

Lee leads a team which supports Shirley in Shepton Mallet. His focus has been on helping her to adapt to the changes brought about by the pandemic. He says:

“Shirley has a great understanding of routine and when the government told us to isolate she became accustomed to staying at home and her routine was restrictive. It’s been my role to help her adapt to the new situation.”

“If Shirley is not supported in a consistent way, this can result in her becoming distressed and feeling very depressed. Shirley’s whole mind-set is built around routine and consistency. I wanted to keep my core team up to date so I have created a newsletter about Shirley and I send them emails monthly and I give them advance warning about events such as hospital appointments. If you’re not on the ball, it can result in Shirley feeling very anxious.”

“Since I have taken on the role of a lead support worker, I have been able to establish a relationship with Shirley’s keyworker, Nicky, and the core team which has allowed us to build consistency. We are now great at communication and this has been reflected in Shirley’s demeanour; she feels more relaxed as a result of everyone being on the same page.”

Locality manager, Verity North is proud of the work Lee has done:

“The team has provided consistent support during challenging times. This excellent piece of work is testament to this. Consistency and the skill matching of colleagues has been key to ensuring that we have the right skills and relationships to support Shirley in achieving her wishes and aspirations. The newsletter keeps everyone informed and Shirley is very proud of her achievements and rightly so!

Person-centred support delivered consistently by Shirley’s core team – who have great knowledge and experience of how to work with her – has meant that Discovery is able to continue to open up Shirley’s world in a way that meets her needs”, said Verity.