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New life experiences for Jody at Orchard View


A Strood man with learning disabilities is discovering how much more satisfying life can be when you try out new experiences.

For Jody Williams who lives at Orchard View, our residential service in Kent, his learning disability has tended to make him unwilling to try any activities he wasn’t already familiar with.

Yet this year, bolstered by encouragement from the Orchard View team, Jody has surpassed all expectations by experimenting with new hobbies and travelling to Australia to be best man at his brother Jamie’s wedding.

Jody said: “My sister went with me and it made me proud to be an important part of the wedding.”

John Henderson, service manager at Orchard View, said: “Jody has made terrific progress after a difficult couple of years following the death of his mother.

“We could tell the bereavement was affecting Jody badly - he was becoming depressed and reclusive, so we supported him to attend regular sessions with a psychiatrist, and this has benefitted him a lot.”

Jody’s key worker, John Patterson, has worked closely with him for the past nine years. The two have long enjoyed regular games of golf and now – with Jody’s agreement - are gradually adding other activities to his schedule.

Recent additions include a fortnightly model railway club at Chatham Dockyard and a flying club for model planes in Sittingbourne.

Jody is already an active contributor in the kitchen at Orchard View, helping choose, prep and cook meals for his eight housemates every week, having been supported to learn the basic skills at Rochester College over the past four years.

Jody has also decided he would like to do a Skills For Work course, so John has supported him to enroll on course which starts in September.

John Henderson said: “Perseverance on the part of his key support worker has led to a deep level of understanding between the two men, with the result that Jody is now embracing several new activities and getting much more out of life.

“There has also been a much lower incidence of Jody demonstrating behaviours that challenge, and John must take a lot of the credit for this. They have an excellent relationship and Jody is confident about opening up to him if he has any issues.”

The Regard Group supports people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injuries nationwide, is a leading advocate for improving people’s life chances by developing their personal skills and broadening their horizons.

Orchard View


Specialism: Autism and complex behaviours.

Details of vacancy: There is a first floor room with adjacent wetroom bathroom available now.