Brighton charity launches bespoke care service
Brighton and Hove charity, Possability People today (Tuesday 4 December) celebrates five years of its bespoke care service with a new name, Possability People: at home.
The service supports disabled people, older people or people who just have health troubles so they can live their lives independently and as they choose.
The things most of us take for granted – like cooking, cleaning and shopping, or even just going out – can be challenging if you’re living with a range of health conditions. The option of hiring a personal assistant (PA) is one way people can make those challenges bearable, but the burden of being an employer can be a daunting prospect if you’re lacking in confidence.
That’s why Possability People launched its continuing independence service five years ago. Renamed Possability People: at home, the service employs PAs directly, so clients are spared any administrative and financial responsibilities.
Four years ago, 30-year-old Joanna, who lives with learning disabilities and has a heart condition, became the first client of the At Home service after her mother died. She was facing the prospect of living on her own for the first time, her confidence was at an all-time low and she rarely ventured out.
But Joanna’s life was turned around after her aunt put her in touch with Brighton charity Possability People, which is dedicated to helping people stay independent and live at home for as long as they can. Now, with lots of assistance on the domestic front from her long-term PA Tina – and Katy too, who takes her out each week to the cinema or to go bowling – Joanna has regained her sparkle and now also volunteers every week on the reception desk at Possability People. She even flies out to Naples each year to visit her family, something she never attempted before despite owning a passport for many years.
“The At Home service helps me live independently, to live on my own,” says Joanna. “Now I go out freely, whenever I want to. Go to places I’ve never been before. Meet new people and make friends. Having Tina here, it’s been an enormous help in my life.”
And Tina, who has been with Joanna since she signed up to At Home, has certainly noticed the improvements in Joanna’s wellbeing while working as her PA. “Her confidence has come on in leaps and bounds,” she says.
“Jo has always liked a bit of a sing-song, and loves her music – she’s a really good singer,” Tina adds. “The other week we tried joining a local choir one night, because it was something Jo wanted to try, and she wouldn’t have had the confidence to do that before. She’s really open to trying things now.”
But it’s the often mundane things that can make all the difference to people like Joanna, as Tina explains. “Me and Jo have set routines. We have Monday nights for cooking. Then either Tuesday or Thursday we do housework, washing and things like that, or maybe go out for coffee if we’ve got time. But sometimes we do a nice cooked breakfast first, and Jo helps me with the cooking as well.”
Possability People’s Chief Executive, Geraldine Des Moulins says: “That’s perhaps the uniqueness of the At Home service – it creates bespoke support for each person, based not only on their needs, but also their hopes and the things they like doing. We don’t want people to live their lives according to a care timetable, we want to support people so they can live their lives as they choose, whether that’s help with medications or personal care, or simply help getting out and about to shop or socialize.”
Possability People operates across East Sussex. For more details about Possabilty People: at home,call 01273 894040, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.