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Horseshoes under the hammer at Harbour

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A man with learning difficulties has succeeded in transforming abandoned horse-shoes into an innovative flower-pot holder thanks to new skills learned at weekly metal-work classes in Totnes.

Ben is one of the individuals we support at Harbour, a residential service in Torquay; Harbour supports younger adults with Autistic Spectrum conditions, Profound or Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD) and significant communication difficulties.

He is supported to travel to Totnes every Monday to attend a group run by ROC, where he has learned how to do welding and wield a hammer creatively.

Lucy, service manager at Harbour, said: “Ben is always very enthusiastic about going to the metal-work group, and he’s learned new skills there which have enabled him to make some really lovely items.”

Ben, who has lived at Harbour for four years, has mild learning difficulties and Asperger’s syndrome.

Lucy said: “We support Ben on a one-to-one basis to attend a variety of other activities too, such as swimming and working at the horticulture project at Seale Hayne in Newton Abbott. He also loves his daily constitutional along the seafront here in Torquay.

“The most important thing is that we’re supporting Ben to engage in activities of his own choice, which is typical of the person-centred care we give at our service. The support we give is about doing things with people, rather than ‘to’ them.

“For us person-centred care means promoting the importance of each person as an individual, treating them with respect and being mindful of their desires, even where there are communications difficulties.”

Regard is currently spearheading a campaign to raise the profile of person-centred care in the UK, having launched its awareness-raising programme with a high-profile reception at the House of Lords in May for opinion-leaders, service users and staff.

Reflecting this approach, people who live at Regard services such as Harbour are involved in all aspects of their support, from the recruitment of staff through to day-to-day matters. Staff appreciate how important this responsibility is to service users and how it reflects their desire to make a genuine contribution.

There is currently a vacancy at Harbour for a self-contained flatlet with its own kitchen, bedroom/living area and en-suite bathroom, which would suit a young adult moving from either residential care or the family home who needs a robust service providing structure and strong communication strategies.

Families interested in further details should contact Lucy on 01803 293 460 or visit the service page below.



Specialism: Harbour is registered to provide services for younger adults with: Autistic Spectrum conditions, Behaviours that may challenge, Profound or Multiple Learning Disabilities