Showing posts from 2014

Green Light's Personal Care team enjoying the Christmas spirit.

Green Light’s Personal Care team were making the most of the festive season during a meeting at their new hub at our administrative and training centre in Redruth. The team recently moved from Fairfield in Bridge to the Cardrew Industrial Estate - joining Green Light’s back office staff.
The team with Marie Sinclair, 2nd left, celebrating Christmas at Cardrew.
Newly appointed Personal Care manager, Marie Sinclair, is responsible for the service providing support to 13 customers in their own homes and within the community. It is proving to be an invaluable service to many families across Cornwall who rely on the respite or support to carry out activities or help with learning new life skills. Having supported children with autism while living in America and having worked in a special needs school in Melton Mowbray, Marie has been part of the Green Light team since 2011 when she returned to her roots having grown up in Penzance.  “The personal care service is one of our busiest as we su…

New Beginnings

It has been an exciting year for Green Light as we have continued to grow, employing talented people and providing much needed services for adults and children with autism in Cornwall.  We are about to open three new homes in Camborne, our first in the town, along with a spacious bungalow in Truro, also our first in the city.  
To date we have created more than 150 new jobs, our latest intake includes two Registered Managers who bring a wealth of experience to the organisation.  

Lewis Collins is originally from Hampshire, but moved to Cornwall to be closer to family. Lewis has many years experience of managing homes for people with learning disabilities. His move to Green Light marks a new beginning for Lewis who was attracted by our ethos of providing a lifestyle that people can be proud of.  

“Managing a home has its ups and downs, you need to mentor staff and give them the positive drive to do the job with confidence. It’s important to listen and be receptive to team members so they …

Recognising Talent To Boost Life Opportunities

As a young company recognising talent and giving our workforce the opportunities to develop their careers and training is a key part of our continued growth. Leanne Griffiths and Debbie Smith joined Green Light when we welcomed our first customers in 2011.  As we have developed, so too have their careers and experience.  Both have shown amazing dedication and passion in their roles, with Debbie even returning to work for a short period, during her maternity leave, to oversee the refurbishment of The Pines, which opened in October.
Leanne started out as a support worker based at September Lodge, a family style home for four people with autism and other complex needs at Wheal Hope in Goonhavern.  Her leadership skills and ability to organise and manage the homes in a strategic way were soon recognised with Leanne being offered a deputy manager post at Big Wig and Littlecroft in Holywell Bay.

Good friends Leanne (L) and Debbie, who manage Green Light’s homes
Explaining her role, she says: …

Winning the Race - The Importance of Friendship

Green Light recently opened its doors to Sue Humberstone who while on holiday in Cornwall kindly agreed to talk to us about her experiences of bringing up her son who has Asperger’s and a rare condition - Prader Willi syndrome. Sue’s honest and moving account of her family’s ups and downs gives us a real insight into the trials and tribulations facing many families caring for a child with complex needs and the importance of having the right support and environment.
“I am a mother of two children, a daughter Grace, who is 23 and a son, Elliot, who is 19. From the moment Elliot was born we knew our lives would never be the same. I’ll never forget the day that he arrived by caesarian section, his tiny, floppy body lying still. We were in shock for the first few days as he was looked after in the special baby care unit. There were no screams, all I could do was watch as my baby was fed via a gastric-nasal tube, anxiously waiting for him to wake. The doctors explained that he had Prader Wi…

New partner leads to new home, new career and a new dog!

It has been a life-changing year for Green Light’s latest member of staff who after meeting his new partner decided it was time to change careers and move several hundred miles to set-up home in Cornwall. Paul Kimber met his partner, Verity, at her brother’s party in London last year. The pair hit it off straight away and in September this year Paul left his job of more than ten years with Tesco’s, and his home in West Sussex to relocate to Cornwall. “I had been wanting a change, I came here primarily to be with Verity, but as I’ve got older my outlook on life has changed and I wanted a brand new start and a career where I can help people.”

Paul is busy settling into two new homes, a farmhouse in Rosevidney, which he now shares with  Verity and her son, Austyn, and Green Light’s Huthnance Park in Nancegollan, where he started his first shift as a support worker today. The rural lifestyle is a far cry from the busy streets of Sussex,  although Paul hopes his new job will give him a fres…

Taking the Fear and Anxiety out of Hospital Visits

As a former journalist I have spent many hours pounding the wards at the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust at Treliske meeting patients, nurses and consultants and many volunteers, telling their stories and describing life in a bustling city hospital. I remember feeling a sense of trepidation whenever I arrived acknowledging that for those needing treatment it can be a daunting and nerve wracking experience. Hospitals, like large hotels, welcome thousands of people each day and for those with autism the wards pose particular challenges because of busy, noisy corridors filled with strangers and weird machines that look more at home on a Dr Who set, anyone who has had an MRI scan will understand.
Daniella Rubio-Mayer (L) and Jane Rees from the RCHT Acute Liaison Nurse Team 
I recently met nurses who provide a calming hand for people with learning disabilities and autism who for whatever reason feel overwhelmed and anxious during their visit to the Trust’s hospitals at Treliske, Hayle or Penz…

No one wants strangers in their home - the importance of building trusting relationships

We are pleased to be publishing the first pages of a journal being written by Vicky Williams who joined Green Light this month. The diary describes her daily experiences and how the two week induction has given her a fresh approach to her role as a support worker. 
Green Light appealed to me because they have a different approach to supporting people who display challenging behaviour and I have heard great things about the company. Making sure the environment is right for the customers from the beginning and having the right staff is very important to me, I have experience when this has gone wrong. It is great that they offer bespoke services to people who want or need to live alone. I’m 33 and there’s no way I would want to live in a house full of strangers so why should we expect people with complex needs to do that?"
Vicky Williams (F) with her colleagues using the sign for ‘good’ with makaton trainer, Trigger, (2nd L back row) who gave the group a taster session on using sign l…

Prader Willi - the constant urge to eat

Tom was born with a rare genetic condition which means he is unable to stop eating. As a newborn he was adopted by a couple who describe their experience of caring for a child with complex needs.

Jeff and Lynn had fostered many children as well as bringing up four of their own and adopting two youngsters with Down Syndrome. The couple were told Tom has Prader Willi soon after he was born and although they had some experience caring for children with complex needs, they had no idea how he would develop and how his condition would impact on their family. “He was very floppy as a baby and had no coordination, classic signs of Prader Willi,” said Lynn, “He came into a very busy home life, he coped well until the age of 11 when things started to change.” 
As a result of his condition Tom has the constant urge to eat, which is driven by a permanent feeling of hunger which can lead to dangerous weight gain. It also causes restricted growth, poor muscle tone and behavioural problems, such as te…

Catatonia, a mother's perspective

Tracey Mears is a mother with guts and determination. Thanks to her dogged perseverance in refusing to allow her son to slowly fade into the background unable to eat, speak or move, he is now facing a much brighter future. Ryan’s 21st birthday is looming but rather than celebrating this milestone his family are coming to terms with the devastating news that he has catatonia, a debilitating condition that will affect him for the rest of his life. Ryan, whose parents run a Cornish holiday park, was diagnosed with classic autism aged two which saw his needs dominating family life with his parents and siblings supporting him throughout his young days.
Tracey Mears, chairman of NAS West Cornwall Branch

His catatonia would have gone undetected if it were not for his mother’s concerns. She contacted health professionals across Cornwall trying to understand what was affecting her son, saying: “I believe Ryan’s catatonia started around 5-6 years ago. It is a very slow regression. People change b…