Jodie’s world has been transformed by a year of FitzRoy support - FitzRoy
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Jodie’s world has been transformed by a year of FitzRoy support

Published: December 1, 2023

Jodie lives in an annexe attached to her parents’ house. She was previously supported by another care provider, but her mum, Jackie, was still left to do a huge amount of work and was often utterly exhausted. Jodie herself wasn’t thriving with the arrangement either and was withdrawn and anxious. In October 2022, Jodie began being supported by the FitzRoy Nottinghamshire team and now life looks very different for her and her family.

Chloe, deputy manager of Jodie’s Supported Living team, explains: “When we first met Jodie, she could communicate verbally but if you asked her a question, you’d get a single word answer at most. We had to work really hard on gaining her trust and it’s been wonderful to see her coming out of her shell. We created a bespoke support plan for her, which included working on building up her confidence and getting her out more, with the ultimate aim of taking her on holiday.

“In the run up to Christmas last year we took Jodie out to several events and kept finding that she would get there, then not want to get out of the car. She did go on the Polar Express train and loved it, but other than that even routine appointments were really challenging for her.”

With time, patience, and expert care, Jodie, who has a congenital brain condition and needs support around the clock, built a bond with her regular support workers and has really flourished. Christmas will be very different for her this year. Chloe says: “Although Jodie does still experience a bit of anxiety, she’s come on so far from this time last year. Now, she communicates in full sentences and we have lots of fun things planned for her in the run up to Christmas. She wants to go on the Polar Express train again and we’re going to take her to the Christmas markets too. Jodie’s also going to be attending the FitzRoy Christmas party, along with a number of other people who are supported in the Nottingham area – there are normally about 60 people there and everyone has a great time.”

As well as successfully gaining Jodie’s trust and getting her happily communicating, the team has recently supported her to achieve a huge goal: going away overnight without her parents for the first time in her life.

Taylor, our senior support worker who supports Jodie regularly, said: “It’s incredible to see how much Jodie has changed since we first met her. One of her aims for this year was to go away on holiday and she recently achieved just that, with a long weekend at Centre Parcs. She loved it and had a fabulous time. She didn’t quite do everything we had planned but this is such a huge achievement for her – it would have been unthinkable a year ago. I’m so proud of how far she’s come and it’s lovely to see her enjoying life so much more, both at home and when she gets out and about. Next year we’re aiming for two holidays, one to Alton Towers and another slightly longer trip to Centre Parcs.”

Jackie, Jodie’s mum, said: “Just over a year ago I had a care management company that thought it was acceptable to be paid to leave me in charge of the care for my daughter and struggling to care for her myself, whilst personally arranging agency to help me every day and night – all with very little support and feeling very isolated. Social services gave me a list of care management companies to call in order for me to sort a new source of help and it was then that on speaking with Julie Bruce, FitzRoy’s Head of Operations, I had some hope! I very quickly met with members of the FitzRoy team and from there it all moved positively forward.

“Life for Jodie and us as a family has improved massively, after an adjustment period for all of us to start. Jodie is now in a happy routine with the imperative continuity of care staff, who are continuously supported by FitzRoy in further appropriate training to aid them to make Jodie’s life more fulfilled.”

Huge appreciation to the carers – it is a joy and relief to hear Jodie and carers mostly laughing, singing, and dancing next door. On the down days, we have the reassurance that they can cope and have management to advise and support them. They know we are always here to support in any way; however, we seem to now be able to pop in have a hug and a kiss with Jodie and she is happy for us to get on with our lives as she does hers.