As a social enterprise, Discovery places utmost importance on supporting/helping adults with learning disabilities and autistic people to live meaningful, ordinary lives as active members of their local community.
Some people might pursue hobbies. Others might work towards employment. One lady we support recently declared her ambition to visit the highest summits across Somerset – an ambition we were able to help her fulfil.
Working to our values of courage, ambition, partnership, integrity, and respect, we work together to place each person at the heart of everything they do. We ensure people’s time is well spent and support individuals to develop and meet their own goals, involving family and friends at all stages of their support planning.
Many of the people we support have complex needs and a history of behaviours of distress (so-called “challenging” behaviour). These behaviours often lessen or stop completely when we keep the person central in the plan for their life, achieving greater independence, confidence, self-esteem, choice, fulfilment and inclusion.
All our support plans are person-centred, from a few hours out and about in the local community each week helping the person grow through their passions such as gardening, sports, games, cooking, arts and crafts, storytelling to more intensive work towards a specific goal, such as supported employment or living.
If someone has an ambition they want to fulfil (or they want to find out what that could be), we’ll work with them to find and achieve it, and when they do, we adapt our support to meet their growing skill set, confidence, and changing ambitions too!
Whilst most of our ‘changing lives’ support is delivered out and about in the local community, the people we support can also use a range of local ‘hubs’ – typically, a room in a brilliant community venue such as a YMCA. Here, the people we support remain part of their local community but with their own space, and accessible toilet facilities. Hubs are accessible by public transport and provide a good wet-weather option or meeting point for people.
You might also get inspiration from some of the projects we have awarded that support the health and independence of people with learning disabilities in Somerset, see the results of Somerset’s groundbreaking Community Discovery Fund: