Sam's story

When Sam shops, he uses pictures to communicate what he wants to buy. In the past, he became increasingly frustrated at not being able express himself. The turning point came when Yarrow staff decided to show him pictures and sounds on a computer. They grabbed his attention and Sam now uses these pictures to let staff know what he likes and dislikes and as such has far greater control over his life.

More recently, Sam has started using still pictures too and with the change, his true personality - relaxed, assertive and intelligent – has shone through. He now acts as a consultant and trainer to social workers and occupational therapists.

Maggie's story

Maggie has taken ownership of her own life, identifying likes, dislikes and triggers, and taking control of her own feelings and behaviours. This is a far cry from when Maggie came to Yarrow many years ago. Back then, she posed a risk to herself and others and found it hard to express her feelings.  But Maggie collaborated with our staff team, the Community Specialist Team and her father to develop a support plan.  Critical to its success was the appointment of a key worker with experience in mental health problems and regular risk assessments and support plan review meetings.

Ashok's story

Ashok loves The Gate.  He feels it is a world away from traditional day centres, where his behaviour used to sometimes become challenging.  He particularly took to the way The Gate offered him a specific slot when it was at its quietest and the way they laid out a variety of stimuli in a welcoming space. Almost immediately, Ashok would get involved in whatever he gravitated towards – art, musical instruments, a relaxation space, a kitchen to prepare some food or an area to listen to music. He is now able to stay on when The Gate gets busier and to take part in group activities.

Drew's story

Drew loves joking around with his support worker. He has developed good communication skills through using the Short Breaks scheme and this has paid off in his relationships with others. 

Drew has also benefited from broadening his activities by taking advantage of living in London, visiting museums, sightseeing, going bowling regularly and using London transport. 

The best news of all is that there has been a reduction in recorded incidents of challenging behaviour.