Leaving your childhood family home and moving on into the first home of your own is one of life’s key defining experiences. For people with learning disabilities and their families, this is often one of the most challenging times of life. At Symbol we strongly believe, and have plenty of evidence to demonstrate, that anyone is able to live in their own home providing they are able to:
- have the right support
- live with the right people or on their own
- live in the right type of house
- live in the right location.
Over the last couple of years, we have committed ourselves to finding and delivering solutions that make this a reality for a growing number of people.
What is Supported Living?
There are many ways that Supported Living could be explained, but essentially it means being supported to live as a tenant in an ‘ordinary’ home, with all the rights and responsibilities that this brings. This support will in many cases include some element of personal care, and always include some degree of support with any of the wide variety of skills needed for daily living; cooking, cleaning, shopping, budgeting, paying bills, keeping safe, maintaining health, travel and using public transport etc. In addition, the support will enable people to live fulfilling lives, making and sustaining friendships and relationships, following interests and hobbies, education and learning opportunities and even work. Additionally, and very importantly, our support always has a focus on enabling people to participate in and contribute to their local communities.
For the majority of people, but not everybody, this support is available for 24 hours a day. During the nights a member of staff will remain on site sleeping in, or where necessary staying awake and working throughout the night. In some circumstances people do not need this level of support at night and we establish tested, safe arrangements for them to alert/call a member of our staff if they need help. Whatever the arrangements, at the heart of our supported living services we seek to enable people to live as independently as possible while keeping an eye on and effectively managing the risks associated with this. Every person we support has a carefully developed support plan, this is developed by our staff with the person and informed by family members, advocates, Care Managers and other professionals (such as GPs, psychologists etc.) as necessary.
Getting the support right.
We are passionate that like everything else we do, we get things right for and with people. To do so we find meaningful ways of evaluating the quality of service including seeking feedback via regular individual conversations with people, tenants’ meetings, observations, surveys and care reviews. In the light of these we make necessary changes.
On a more formal basis:
- Our Supported Living services are regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). We therefore work to comply with their standards of being Safe, Caring, Effective, Responsive to People’s Needs and Well Led. We are inspected by CQC and currently hold a ‘Good’ rating for these services. You can see our report here.
- We wholly subscribe to the nationally recognised Reach Standards for Supported Living, working at all times to progress the quality of what we do in line with these (I chose who I live with, I choose where I live, I have my own home, I chose how I am supported, I choose who supports me, I get good support, I choose my friends and relationships, I choose how to be healthy and safe, I choose how I am part of the community, I have the same rights and responsibilities as other citizens, I get help to make changes in my life).
- We operate an in-house quality assurance system via a process of visits and checks against the CQC and Reach standards and make ongoing changes/developments in the light of our findings.
What opportunities do we currently have?
We currently support approximately 50 people in 15 different properties in Kent and London, located in the following places:
- Herne Bay
- Isle of Sheppey
We are also in the process of securing 2 additional properties in Sittingbourne and Minster on Sea (Isle of Sheppey)
What to do if you or someone you are involved with is looking for support
If someone is interested in being supported by us, we will meet with them to find out lots more. Please click on how we design our support to see how we work. There are sometimes opportunities within the various projects that are already up and running that maybe suitable. Equally, we are very flexible in how we work and can explore the possibilities of finding new properties in just the right location, with or without others also looking for support.
TO FIND OUT MORE PLEASE CONTACT:
Telephone: 01622 859216