Herbert's story

Herbert, who is middle-aged, has recently taken to travelling independently for the first time in his life - not just locally but further afield too. All this from a man who previously couldn’t travel on his own and would become challenging if he was presented with anything he couldn’t cope with.

Yarrow worked with Herbert, who is autistic, and his family to address his emotional, communication and practical issues before introducing a rigorous travel training programme. It took just six months for Herbert to travel alone, using a mobile phone to keep in hourly contact with Yarrow staff.

Lydia's story

Lydia speaks with confidence and has learnt to disagree with staff. Lydia was brought up in a children’s home, where she lived with nine others and just two staff on shift at any one time. Because there was little time for dedication to Lydia’s needs, the belief that she had rights and the urge to speak her mind were alien to her.

This all changed with Lydia’s move to supported living within Yarrow. She now shares a home with two other good friends with learning disabilities. She took part in her own risk assessment so that her abilities and anxieties were clearly identified at the outset and to ensure she was in control of her own life. Her 35 hours of support per week have now been cut to 10.

Andrew, Keith, James and Paul's story

Andrew, Keith, James and Paul were resettled from long-stay hospitals into two connecting flats. They had been on locked wards since childhood because of extremely challenging behaviour, autism and mental health issues. Initially the insecurity caused by the move resulted in an increase of behavioural problems.  But carefully planned transition, good observation and listening skills from Yarrow staff meant triggers for this behaviour could be identified. Objects of reference, such as beer mats signifying a trip to the pub or a carrier bag denoting a shopping trip, enabled all four individuals to express their needs and desires.

The lifestyle changes have not been without hurdles, but the men now require far less staff support and spend their time doing things they want to do.