60 years ago, Elizabeth FitzRoy believed that everyone deserved a fulfilled life with love, choice and independence to be happy, healthy and at home. FitzRoy was founded to support people with learning disabilities to live and thrive in the community, rather than be isolated in institutions.
As Rupan’s story shows, we still hold these values and beliefs right at the heart of everything we do.
After spending 30 years in a secure unit, Rupan – at the age of 45 – is finally living in his own home, after moving into FitzRoy’s supported living service in Birmingham last month. We knew that this was going to be the biggest move of his life and we were determined to support Rupan in every way we could.
Coleshill Road service manager, Abida, said: “When Rupan moved into Coleshill Road, it was like he was a broken person. He had experienced some serious trauma and spent every moment in a state of distress. I knew I had to make sure everyone in my team was fully equipped to provide the best support to enable Rupan to adjust to his new life and his new community.
“From my support workers working around the clock, to our FitzRoy management team dropping everything to support us and Rupan through this fast-tracked transition – everyone had a part to play in transforming his life.
“Rupan is friendly, lovable and enjoys affection and attention. This is a side to him we have been able to uncover thanks to the incredible teamwork of everyone at FitzRoy.”
FitzRoy’s practice development team specialise in supporting people with complex needs, who might need extra support. The team provided training to Abida and her team around intense positive behaviourial support and crisis prevention. The enormity of the change for Rupan from being in a secure unit for such a long time, to having his own home in the community is unimaginable – we wanted to anticipate any issues and prepare Rupan for every element of the change and his new life.
“After the training, my staff were all so motivated and enthusiastic about putting it into practice and seeing the difference we could make for Rupan.
“It wasn’t an easy transition and he did struggle when he first moved in. But Elaine, our practice development lead, gave us some great techniques to use which have been transformative for Rupan.”
Elaine said: “After my assessment, there was lots of things we did for Rupan which have had a profound impact for him. Some changes were very simple ones. I realised a big trigger for Rupan was noise, so we decided to just have one support worker at a time with him for activities throughout the day. This had an instant effect on Rupan, he was less stressed and more relaxed.
“We have also been building structure into Rupan’s day so he knows what to expect. We’ve been using ‘now and next’, which is how we explain to Rupan the activity he is currently doing will be finishing soon, and what he will be doing next. By creating this structure, Rupan feels a lot less anxious throughout the day.
“The team at Coleshill Road have been incredible, they have shown FitzRoy’s values through and through with how they have supported Rupan during this difficult transition. He is a different person now, we have seen his personality shine through thanks to the monumental effort every person has put in.”
Deputy manager Louise said: “We have started to really get to know Rupan. He’s such a friendly, affectionate person – and loves listening to love songs! After not going out into the community for 30 years, Rupan has started to find joy in simple trips out. He enjoys going out for a drive, he is calmed by the noises in the car and he likes to look at the views from the window.”
Abida said: “We took him out for his first McDonalds a few weeks ago which he loved, the smile on his face was absolutely priceless. When his parents visited the other day, his dad looked at Rupan and said ‘I can’t believe this is my son’. He’s happy, relaxed, and is beginning to enjoy life again.
“I am so proud of my team. We couldn’t have achieved what we have for Rupan without them going above and beyond. I can honestly say this has been the greatest achievement of my career.”
Rupan’s sister Nithy said: “I would like to thank Abida and Louise for their support with the transition process to move Rupan and the ongoing support with settling Rupan in his new environment.
“As a family we feel very overwhelmed with happiness that Rupan has developed this much and sincerely wish that Rupan moved here earlier on in his life. They are passionate about helping Rupan.
“My dad and mum visited Rupan and they came back full of confidence and positivity. During Rupan’s life he has never come across truly passionate people like Abida and Louise. They are committed on changing lives of the residents there, and they have believed in Rupan and are supporting him to flourish. They are amazing.”