Wednesdays are busy for Jennifer. In the morning she hops on the bus to volunteer at Cancer Research UK and by the afternoon she’s on her way to help at NOAH, a charity that focuses care on homelessness.
Jenny, 49, is a person we support in Luton, who has down syndrome. She joined our service almost 6 years ago when her brother, Mark, who she was living with at the time had to focus more of his care and attention towards their elderly mother. Since arriving at our service Jenny has sought greater independence. This became particularly apparent when 2 years ago Jenny walked down the road and into NOAH charity shop asking for some work. After a trial, she was accepted as a volunteer charity worker and she hasn’t looked back since!
At Walsingham Support, we respect choices, recognise capabilities, increase independence and meet needs appropriately. More recently Jenny’s independence has taken another new turn. With the help of her support workers and the Luton Borough Council Enablement team, Jenny has now added volunteering at a Cancer Research UK charity shop to her list of accomplishments. Jenny says: “I love my job. I love what I’m doing when I’m there and my colleagues are really nice to me and we help each other and we get along.”
Now Jenny works at Cancer Research UK in Dunstable sorting out clothes in the morning and then does 2 hours voluntary work at NOAH in the afternoon. Oh, and manages to fit in lunch with her mum in between! It’s a jampacked day but it seems like Jenny wouldn’t have it any other way: “She loves them both” says Tina, Locality Manager.
Walsingham Support recognises that every individual is unique and we work hard to help the people we support make the most of their skills. We aim to support every person to live as independently as possible. Supported by our staff, (7 full-time support workers), Jenny also keeps herself active by attending Involvement Group Meetings and on Thursday evenings joins drama classes at Stardust Theatre Company. At Walsingham Support we are here to encourage every person we support to live their life to the full and it looks like Jenny is certainly doing that. Daniela, Jenny’s Key Worker, says: “Jenny has a very busy schedule from Monday to Friday, weekends she is relaxing but sometimes she has activities as well…Jenny also loves baking, I am looking into baking sessions at the moment”. It seems Jenny’s energetic lifestyle isn’t about to wind down anytime soon, then!
Just as my conversation with Tina is about to wind down, she adds, “oh and she’s got a boyfriend, oh and they’re engaged.” Congratulations is in order all round then, Jenny!