Working collaboratively to change lives | Open Minds

News • 28 Aug 2018

Working collaboratively to change lives

Working collaboratively to change lives
Matt at the Waterfront after travelling in the car with Open Minds Support Worker

Open Minds has been working together with Endeavour Foundation to improve the life of client, Matt, by enabling him to travel in the car more and lead a more positive future.

 

Open Minds has been working together with Endeavour Foundation to improve the life of client, Matt, by enabling him to travel in the car more and lead a more positive future.

Matt is a 33-year-old from Burpengary; for him, having autism means that he requires full 24-hour support and stable living arrangements.

The Open Minds team provide support that includes: cooking, cleaning, health care, community access, and anything else required to ensure Matt leads a positive and happy life.

Because Matt is non-verbal, communication can be tricky. The Open Minds team have therefore worked to communicate and create understanding, whilst building rapport and gaining his trust.

Over the 17 years they have worked together, Matt has formed a close bond with his Support Worker, Ed  from Endeavour Foundation.

Ed was the only Support Worker who Matt trusted to travel in the car with, which was problematic if other Support Workers needed to take Matt to important GP appointments when Ed wasn’t around.

Ed, Support Worker at Endeavour Foundation, said: “For a long time I was the only Support Worker who Matt would to be in the car with him and go for a drive. This was an issue because if I was ever away on annual leave or off sick, Matt simply did not feel comfortable to leave the house. This meant that it was impossible to get Matt to attend doctor appointments and health checkups when I’m not around.”

Matt’s father, Brian, who visits every week, was also concerned about the impact this would have on Matt’s health and future.

It was therefore vital for the Open Minds team to work collaboratively with Brian, Matt, Ed and the Endeavour team to build trust and get Matt feeling comfortable in the car with his other Support Workers.

The team started out with Ed in the car and parked up at the local library, allowing Matt to adjust at his own pace to Ed stepping out of the car.

The team were then able to swing by Matt’s favourite drive-through restaurant, Red Rooster, to ensure that his first car journey without Ed was a positive and enjoyable experience.

The collaborative effort resulted in success, Matt experienced a car journey without Ed for the first time in many years.

 

Matt smiling in the car, excited to eat his favourite treat: Red Rooster

 

James Lennard, Case Worker at Open Minds said: “As you can tell from the enormous smile on Matt’s face, he’s finally trusting us to take him for car rides. Next steps are that we will continue working with him to build this up to longer car journeys. In the long run, this will make a big difference to the quality of his life and will allow him to access the community more regularly as well as attend important appointments.” 

The team are continuing to work with Matt to reach milestones to work towards his recovery journey. 

Matt’s father Brian, said: “I’m very happy with the progress so far and I look forward to the time that Matt can go out on community access more often without any concerns.”

Find out more about the Complex Care support that Open Minds provides, or get in touch today.