Adam, age 24, joined us in 2013 as a resident at one of our supported housing services in the North West. He is very laid back, quite shy, and can often find it difficult to make decisions. Adam also has a diagnosis of schizophrenia, and requires support in building his confidence.
As well as working with our team to improve his self-esteem and develop his independent living skills, Adam also has support on managing addictions, as he can become obsessed with his weight and food.
During his last family holiday, when he was a teenager, Adam fell very ill and upon his return to England was admitted to hospital. This experience left Adam with an overwhelming anxiety of travelling and going on holiday, and as a result he has not been able to enjoy a holiday since.
Earlier this year our support workers – at the supported housing service – planned a holiday to Palma Nova in Majorca for the residents. For many residents this was their first time travelling abroad, and although they were enthusiastic about the holiday, many were nervous, including Adam.
Kathryn, a support worker at the service, worked closely with Adam and the other residents to establish what they would like to do while they were on holiday, engaging them in activities that they were interested in, but also ensuring that they felt safe and secure knowing that the team would be there at every step to support them. With a sense of anticipation and knowing that they would be in safe hands, they all began to get excited about the trip.
While on the plane flying out to Majorca, Adam began to feel very anxious; however, with assurance from Kathryn and help with breathing techniques they had practised prior to travelling, Adam began to relax.
During the holiday Adam enjoyed a variety of new experiences, including sightseeing, meeting new people and trying different foods.
Adam said: “I am so happy that Kathryn arranged for me to go on holiday. Although I was very nervous about the trip, she helped me to stay calm and enjoy lots of new things. I really like trying different foods, although some tasted terrible. The whole experience was brilliant, well planned, and I felt safe and supported the whole time.”
Kathryn, our support worker who arranged the holiday and went away with the residents, said: “Going on holiday is something that many people are naturally excited about, but for some people their conditions or concerns and anxieties can prevent them from enjoying themselves, or even going away in the first place. After speaking with our residents and learning that they really did want to go away, I became passionate about working with them to be able to go on holiday, and began planning a trip that was safe and enjoyable.
“I planned ahead for all medication to be safely secured at the hotel, made sure all were safe and protected in the sun, and supported each person to manage and overcome their anxieties throughout the holiday. There was a lot of planning involved but it was so worthwhile – especially to see Adam enjoy his first holiday since his teens and putting his independent living skills into practice.”
At Making Space we respect everyone who comes to us for care and support. So while their stories are true, names and images may have been changed to protect their privacy. Thank you for understanding.