Richard; living the dream
Richard has lived in supported living for more than 5 years but since 2008 moved on to a different service in North Wales. In his own admission he doesn’t very much enjoy socialising in large groups so as a provider we have found it a challenge to engage him in activities hence he has had a tendency to isolate himself and spend long lengths of time on his own
He has always been a huge train fanatic and has dreamed of building and owning his own train set. He started with small train tracks and although he was always satisfied with his finished product he soon got bored as his biggest ambition was to have a full working train set; station, fields, mountain, the lot!
As he lived in supported accommodation Richard has had access to his full entitlement to benefits so we supported him to save enough money to buy a 16ft shed to start his dream. That was just the start; he had to lay the foundations for the shed, build it, paint it, and make sure it was safe to use. With the support of staff we have helped him to realise his dream by giving him advice and putting a plan together with him listing all the things he would need including how we would get electricity to it!
It has been a huge task but over the last 2 years the model railway is complete with rivers, mountains, level crossing; even the welsh sheep have lush green grass!
He has been supported with building the shed with support from staff and he had a local electrician fit all of the electrics and lighting. It has been a big project and it has taken 2 years but now he has the boards built and the track layout down with the trains running around. It’s not yet finished but he can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
He has been visiting Aberystwyth hobby shop and buying engines and scenery of his choice for his set and he has built up a large collection. Mum and dad have been fully involved and they have also brought items for birthdays and Christmas and they have been taking him to Hatton’s hobby shop in Liverpool during the Christmas holiday.
At the moment he is working on building another mountain for the trains to go through, throughout he is taking lots of pictures as it develops and using his camera to take pictures of real railways to give him more ideas
He has found the experience of building the shed and railway very exciting and rewarding and going to hobby shops has built up his confidence to go out on longer journeys. His train set makes him very happy and it is a great place for him to be independent of staff, and to go and relax and enjoy himself.
It has been a rewarding experience for Richard as well as for us as his provider. We have seen him grow in confidence and be more confident around people he doesn’t really know that well because he has something to be proud of and talk about when ever anyone hears of the railway he has built. It has opened up avenues for him and he is far more comfortable talking to others hence making new acquaintances.
Quotes from Richards Parents:
We are delighted at the progress Richard is making in overcoming his problems, enabling him to enjoy his life. We feel it is due to the loving care and support of all the staff but especially Les and Dave who have done so much with setting up his railway. We have never seen him so enthusiastic and involved about anything. A stable staff means so much to Richard and us. We are at last after many years starting to relax knowing that Richard is happy and confident.
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