We can do this! - A guest blog by Jenny Hollow

Gardening at Huthnance

Jenny Hollow is a Senior Support Worker at Huthnance Park, near Helston. The team provide support to four adults with autism and learning disabilities who each have their own self-contained accommodation

#coronavirus #covid19 #pandemic #lockdown #global #workingincare #ajobwithpurpose

Lock down began on 23rd March and all of our Green Light teams were faced with having to change their individually person centred support plans with immediate effect. At Huthnance we provide care for four people with autistic spectrum disorders and complex learning disabilities. Therefore any change can be hugely disruptive to them.

A great deal of thought and care goes into each person's unique support plan. Covid-19 and the national measures implemented have inevitably had a significant impact on both demand for and capacity to deliver support for people with autism and additional needs.

A typical week for one young man I support and am key worker for includes daily long walks and picnic lunches, a Shallal dance session, a visit to the gym, a cinema trip, a visit to a sensory room, attending a disco and swimming at a local swimming pool. Even with these unprecedented changes and challenges in our house, in less than a month our team has coped and adapted along with the added new challenges.

Our team have used social stories to explain the effect of lock-down and need for social distancing. A young lady we support is particularly captivated by the Queen, so Her Majesty has been incorporated into her social story, therefore giving extra meaning, and a better understanding of the current situation.

The team have been incredibly proactive in thinking of new activity ideas for the people we support. Thankfully the weather has been beautiful enabling us to have lots of garden fun including, balls games, alfresco dining, pebble painting, Huthnance cafe trips, pub trips and discos in our converted shed. Planting has also begun in the poly tunnel. One of our team members has sourced some seedlings the people we support now water these regularly and take part in witnessing the plants life cycle, before eventually enjoying it’s delicious taste in our home cooked meals.

The team created an exclusive cafe disco and pub from an old shed. We have witnessed some awesome dance moves from staff and people we support joining in with ‘Fit to Wiggle’ Zoom sessions.

The young man I am key worker for has video called his sister for the first time. A young lady we support regularly talks to her parents via Zoom; also a new experience for her.

Our team has been impressive and proactive, sharing responsibilities and supporting each other. Green Light teams have been sharing their knowledge and ideas. As a company Green Light have been holding each other up and supporting good practice in this unknown and uncertain territory.

It is both a scary and exciting time to be able to provide the best care and support to people with autism. We have heard many lovely stories about how Green Light teams are working together at this time and sharing new ideas.
Café Huthnance

We are all keen to continue to grow during this surreal time, share best practice, and make sure that the people we support continue to be involved in decision making. This may mean providing additional support enabling people to understand daily adjustments during Covid 19 lock down.

During this difficult and unprecedented time we are so fortunate to be working alongside and supporting such incredible people. As a team Huthnance are pulling together and supporting each other through this new unknown and uncertain time .What a privilege it is to be able to continue to come to work and support people and work alongside enterprising colleagues.

A job with purpose most definitely makes you want to be more productive and happier, it is not work, it is a mindset.

Looking forward to seeing you all on the other side

Jenny Hollow