Keely was really excited about her 21st birthday and when she opened her birthday card, she got the surprise of her life. Inside were two tickets to Dubai, for an all inclusive five star holiday.
Our Birmingham supported living service manager Abi Begum said: “We really wanted to make her 21st very special. Organising her trip to Dubai took quite a lot of planning and research to make sure that Keely and senior support worker Lesley would have everything they needed, and Keely would be safe. It is quite a challenge for our support workers to take the people we support away for trips and holidays, but it is always worth all the planning. Why should people with learning disabilities be deprived of all the magical things that so many of us plan and look forward to? When Keely saw the tickets in her birthday card, she couldn’t believe it. She kept saying: “Abi, am I going? Am I really going?”
“She was so excited. It was lovely to watch her as she prepared for her dream holiday. We went shopping for all the things she would need, and even when she arrived at the airport, she still couldn’t believe it was true. She said “Pinch me, am I really here? Is it really happening?”
“Once Keely was in Dubai she was video calling everyone and we could see that she was having the absolute time of her life, making unforgettable memories.
“Since Keely has been with us, we have been trying to get her all the things that other kids her age have. She now has an iPhone, an Xbox and a laptop. She has all the ‘things’ she needs, and so Dubai was really about her doing something and making those memories, and she is so appreciative.
When she came back from Dubai, Keely said: “It was like I went into a dream, I was treated like royalty.”
Keely is currently studying a vocational course at college that will help her into work. She’s had several voluntary placements – currently she is at a veterinary surgery – and she is looking forward to the rest of her life.
At FitzRoy, we see the person, we want them to achieve their goals and their dreams and we do everything we can to make sure that happens. It is very rewarding to me to see Keely achieving her dreams – I get really emotional about it. I just love my job.