Meet Karen, Mark and Richard, three people supported by reach in England. Yes, you read it right, reach now provide care and support services across the border!
Reach provide care and support across the counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Wiltshire. The service is lead by Ian Morris, Head of Service England.
Vicki Ebdon, from the communication team had the pleasure of spending the morning getting to know some of reach’ staff and residents who live in a small bungalow, with lovely gardens called Morn Mist, in Stroud.
“Over the years, I’ve only experienced fleeting visits to reach projects, so was looking forward to my inaugural visit over the border, although I was very conscious I would be venturing into people’s home and was desperate not to be intrusive.
Ceri Nash is the Team Manager at Morn Mist, as well as 2 other properties in Stroud, know as Stonehaven and the Vicarage. She is supported by Team Support Worker Darren Gardner.
My first impression of Morn Mist was how homely it felt and how welcoming everybody was. I was blown away by the enthusiasm and passion Darren and Anne had for their jobs. They work tirelessly to ensure residents are involved with every aspect of their lives and that staff and residents work as one family unit, of which they are justifiably proud.
Darren and Anne have a fabulous relationship with the residents which is firmly built on trust and a mutual respect.”
Meet Darren Gardner
Darren is extremely passionate about what he does and loves that no two days are the same, as has a tendency to get bored very easily. Tupe’d across from the former care provider in Sepember, Darren has provided continuous support to the Morn Mist residents for the last 4.5 years.
Darren spoke about his beloved sister Minnie, who has learning difficulties, so he knows only too well how important it is to involve both the resident and family in their choices.
He witnessed first-hand how his mother had not felt fully involved in decisions about her daughter’s future. Darren is adamant Karen, Mark and Richard’s families will not feel isolated and that they all feel part of the extended Morn Mist family.
Karen is a longtime friend of Darren’s sister and she even attended her recent 40th birthday party !
Meet Anne Smith
Anne has been a Morn Mist support worker since March 2015. She provides support to the residents such as assisting them to get up and planning their day with them, talking through their options, so they can decide what they want to do. Anne also accompanies them to various groups, ranging from ladies and gents groups to drama club. Anne loves the fun aspect of the job and working closely with the residents to find out what is important to them.
Meet Kate Small
Kate is the third and newest member of staff having started work, 2 weeks ago, and is already spoken off fondly by the residents, she wasn’t on shift the day I attended our outing.
So who lives at Morn Mist
49 year old Mark is very proud of his independence. He receives a modest level of support and has his own circle of friends, although he chooses to regularly socialise with his Morn Mist friends on their many nights out. He has been employed by the local Premier Inn as a cleaner for the last 11 years and is a keen cook!
Karen and Richard have lived at Morn Mist for 12 years, both had previously lived in accommodation with more structure, less choice and freedom. Both require a higher level of support, and must be accompanied by either family or a support worker when leaving their home.
47 year old Richard talks to his parents several times a day and goes homes regularly. He is an avid football fan, supporting his local team Forest Green and Arsenal. He also likes bowling and is fascinated by clocks and the time.
43 year old Karen likes to keep busy and has many interests, in fact as I arrive she is sat colouring a drawing made by one of the staff, with a jigsaw puzzle at her side. She enjoys watching soaps and wildlife programmes and has a passion for collecting blow up animals and balloons, and proudly shows me her favourite few. A real social butterfly, Karen loves going to the zoo, local farm and Weston Super Mare is a particular favourite as she can walk along the pier and enjoy an ice cream and candy floss.
The Morn Mist gang jetted off to Majorca last year, this year they have settled for a more local trip to nearby Minehead Butlins, which staff and residents are somewhat excited about !
Thank you to Karen, Mark and Richard for welcoming me into their lovely home and to Darren and Ann for their hospitality and time !