Creative ways to keep it normal for tenants with learning disabilities

Vale Place in Evesham Published Tuesday, 28th April 2020

A rainbow mural and ice creams are just two of the innovative ideas Supported Living Providers have come up with to keep things normal for tenants with learning disabilities

Social distancing has meant a change to the norm for everyone, including those who are tenants in Supported Living accommodation.

Many of the Supported Living tenants have mental health or learning disabilities and rely on routine to help them through the day. 

Staff from Worcestershire County Council and our external providers have been coming up with inventive ways to help them adjust to the new arrangements.

At The Woodlands in Kidderminster, staff normally try to encourage tenants to be as independent as possible and take trips out to the shops. Now that isn’t possible, and many people don’t understand what’s going on. To help maintain a sense of independence, staff worked with their local shop and arranged for tenants to make telephone orders.  A local taxi firm, Regency Taxis have been collecting the orders and delivering them to the door. 

In Droitwich, The Burrows is one of our newest specialist supported living schemes for autistic adults and adults with complex needs. In an effort to maintain normality and boost morale, the team worked with their colleagues at their sister residential care home Upper Ford Lodge to create their very own ice cream van.  They decorated a van to look like a real ice cream van which lifted spirits and dished out a selection of tasty treats.

Vale Place, Evesham, is home for around 13 younger adults with learning disabilities supported by Rehability. They delighted their community and each other by decorating their outside walls with a colourful rainbow.

Becky Keen, team leader at Vale Place said: “Everyone here got involved with colouring the rainbow for our keyworkers. It has really lifted spirits with the tenants and the community as cars beeped their horns as they drove past.”

Adrian Hardman, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said: “We are really pleased with how tenants in Supported Living have been coping under these conditions.  This is a testament to the dedication of staff who have been coming up with these creative and inspiring ideas to help those they support cope under these pressures.”

Elaine Carolan, Interim Strategic Director for People added: “Supported Living Providers have reported how they’ve noticed that many of the tenants have really shone and risen to the challenges, helping their friends and co-tenants.   We are so grateful to these staff for coming up with, often simple ideas to keep things as normal as possible and, in doing so, have achieved such positive outcomes.”