Ben who lives at our supported living service in Twickenham was among the guests at our prestigious care industry reception at the House of Lords.
Ben was chosen by his care provider Regard to take part in the organisation’s Pursuing Excellence in Person-centred Care event hosted by The Viscount Bridgeman.
The function, aimed at raising the profile of person-centred care, brought together key people involved in all aspects of care, to discuss the need to change, develop and adapt.
Ben, who lives at Regard’s Waverley Avenue service, was among five service users chosen from among over 1,100 people the company supports across the UK.
Louisa, who heads the team at Waverley House in Twickenham, said: “At first Ben couldn’t understand why he had been picked. He couldn’t believe it.
“I had to explain to him it was because he was such an amazing success story. Six years ago he was living in residential care and now, here he is leading an independent life.
“It meant such a lot for him to be asked. He really enjoyed dressing up going into town and being part of such a wonderful occasion. He took it all in his stride.
“He’s told me he is going to keep his House of Lords invite in his room as a memento of the evening.”
Ben was accompanied to the event by his support worker Andrew, and travelled by train from Whitton station to Waterloo.
The function was held in the House of Lord’s Cholmondeley Room, the most sought-after location in the palace, allowing guests the chance to walk on to the Terrace and view the Thames.
Ben, who has Asperger’s, moved to the service in 2010 and now attends college at Hounslow Adult Education service in Brentford where he is studying music and cooking.
He also works at Regard’s nearby Kneller Road service where he helps out as part of a Gateway Active Gold Award. He goes home to his parents in nearby New Maldon every weekend.
Added Louisa: “He is doing so much stuff now that wasn’t even thought possible. He’s always on the go. He does lots of errands, goes for walks, runs, plays bingo and goes shopping.”
Regard is the UK’s fourth largest, private organisation providing supported living and residential services for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury.