100% of Aldingbourne Trust volunteers that responded said that they agree or strongly agree that:
"When I think of ACC, I get a very warm feeling accompanied by a smile." (ACC Volunteer)
"Caring instructors promoting a good work ethic among clients." (ACC Volunteer)
"Innovative, creative, focussed, committed." (ACC Volunteer)
David has been a long term client at ACC, attending 5 days per week. Over recent years David has been supported to develop his independence within the environment of ACC, firstly playing an important part in our Wood Recycling Enterprise, learning about health and safety and PPE and becoming more comfortable and aware when working in off site environments like building sites and wood yards. He was then supported to take a lead role in the logging enterprise, again further developing his skills, confidence and awareness. David was identified as a candidate able to move on into work with the right guidance and support and so this has been a targeted outcome for him. He was supported by staff at ACC to complete the Work Aid application for employment. Staff at ACC played an important part in discussing and working with the family in helping them understand the possibilities and benefits as there were concerns as to what 'employment' may mean.
The Work Aid team were then able to find David trial employment in the work place in a local Wood Yard. This has proved very successful, the wood yard management have been very impressed with his work and have offered him a permanent place on the team as a paid member of staff (1 day per week) and he can now safely use two of their machines independently - and he is now setting up his own bank account for the first time to receive his wages. David has also mixed well with the other employees and is keen to make this a regular part of his week thus broadening his horizons. Work Aid and the Trust are assisting with benefits analysis. The Yard have invited other members of the ACC team to visit (and see David at work) - this may prove the catalyst for more members of the team to seek out further employment opportunities such as this.
Paul started at ACC in 2013 when he decided to leave his college course. He was already familiar with the centre because of work experience he had done with his school as part of their preparation for transition partnership with ACC.
The team realised how important it is for Paul to feel he is being treated with respect as an adult and not simply be told what to do. The approach taken was not to tell Paul what to do in these times, but to offer support, look at the options and help Paul make his own choices in his own time, while liaising sensitively with his family. As Paul realised it was up to him to make his placement a success his attitude has gone from strength to strength, and there has been a vast improvement in Paul's approach to work, becoming a valued member in the groups that he attends.
Paul has chosen to take part in the Rugwash, cafe, wood work and organics teams. He has progressed particularly well in the kitchen and has independently created a lasagne and other recipes. He has actively engaged in this group stating that "he likes to be creative and enjoys cooking different recipes; I have grown in confidence and like being able to engage with customers", and learnt to be organised and work well within strict deadlines in the Rug Wash.
Paul previously has demonstrated challenging behaviours at home and during his time at College. However, during his time at Aldingbourne there have been no serious incidents and very little challenging behaviour of any kind. He joined the Tai Chi group on Thursday's and has progressed well, stating that it has helped him to relax, he was also given the responsibility of choosing the groups' music in the process.
We encourage healthy lifestyles and teamwork through Paul's active involvement in many of ACC's sporting teams - Paul recently won an Olympic Football Medal at the event in Crawley of which he was very proud.
Paul has progressed well at ACC, becoming a well rounded and polite individual. "I enjoy coming to ACC, as I like to socialise with my friends and like to feel as though I have achieved something. I like the way people treat me at the centre as they treat me as an adult.""
Jamie started attending ACC in June 2012. Jamie very much says things as he sees them, and support has focused on helping Jamie understand the impact this can have on others and helping him manage this to give him greater opportunity, keep him safe and enable him to make the most of his talents. He has successfully settled at the centre and has made some great and helpful contributions, engaging well as part of the wood recycling team. At Jamie's review he said "I have liked it at ACC, people are friendly, everyone seems nice here, I've had no problems and no complaints - I've just enjoyed it really!" His mother said she had "noticed a huge change in Jamie since he started at ACC. Previously he was very down with certain events and would dwell on them at home. However he now seems far happier, more confident and more relaxed. He enjoys going to work 'skips down the path' and always comes home with a smile on his face. It has made home life much easier.
Jamie is now growing in maturity and understanding, is a lot more flexible and is working both on the open farm, rug wash and the woodwork group, and more importantly he gets on better with his peers and is more considerate, without feeling the need to withdraw when facing difficulties. Jamie is gaining a better understanding of other people and how to positively interact with them.
ACC has also helped Jamie in developing his sporting interests through the additional activities that we facilitate. He has taken an active role in the football, pool and the cricket teams by attending practice, tournaments, coaching and special events. This has led to Jamie attending a trial for West Sussex Disability Cricket Team and being selected to play for them! Jamie is now attending regular training sessions at Sussex CC in preparation for the season and the captain of the England Disability Team has been doing some training. This additional 1:1 support to enable Jamie to attend has been facilitated through the assistance of one of our volunteer team, and the transport part funded by Support from The Friends of the Aldingbourne Trust. Jamie said that he "enjoys being part of them team" and "likes everything about it!"