Allendale Court is a supported living scheme for adults with learning disabilities. Be Caring have ran the service here in Newcastle since 2018, in partnership with Newcastle City Council’s Adult Social Care Team and Your Homes Newcastle (YNH).
There are staff on site 24/7 and the building is split into 3 ‘Flats’ with five en-suite bedrooms and shared living, kitchen and bathroom facilities in each. There is also a separate independent flat on site. It is home to adults with mild-to-moderate learning disabilities, many with additional mental health challenges. Allendale is commissioned and designed to support people for up to two years, as a residential placement, bridging the gap between family homes or residential care and independent living in the community.
The main objective of the service is to equip residents with the skills and behaviors they need to live successfully independent lives beyond their 2-year placement at Allendale. Our Support Workers provide guidance and support for individuals, teaching practical skills such as planning and cooking healthy meals, cleaning and maintaining a home, or managing finances. They also work on developing softer skills such as developing friendships and building self-confidence.
Using flexible packages of care and support, individuals are prepared for living either in their own homes or in concierge-style services in the community, for adults who need a little more support on-hand to live as independently as possible.
Abbie, one of the Team Managers tells us “Care packages are built around each individual; it’s entirely person-centered. We determine where they need support and put a plan in place to help them build those skills, which may be around living healthily, building positive relationships or being in control, making their own decisions about everyday things such as their money. Progress and effectiveness are measured during monthly reviews and against quarterly outcomes. We find it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.”
Be Caring’s ability to develop a successful model at Allendale is rooted in how it’s funded by the City Council, according to Tracy, the Service Manager. “The Independent Service Fund (ISF) model is key to the success of our offer here at Allendale Court. After core costs are covered, we retain a pot of funding for each resident that allows us to invest in meeting their health and wellbeing needs, depending on what support each individual requires to get the best outcomes. For one individual who struggled with anger, we bought a punch bag. For others struggling with anxiety – we buy stress balls. We have funded external placements, bought specialist cutlery, paid for a holiday. It is entirely person-centered, as is the program of support we design for each resident.
When Lucie first came to live at Allendale Court she had a ‘Deprivation of Liberty Order’ meaning she couldn’t be left alone. She had issues with anger and aggression and would take this out on the environment around her. Two years on she is living in her own home with her partner and they are expecting a baby. She keeps in touch with her former flatmates and the staff team, who she describes as ‘like family’. “They saved my life here, I’m an entirely different person since living at Allendale” she tells us. “I can cook healthy meals and take care of my home. It was the staff that changed me. I want to say thank you for everything they did for me, because it was a lot.”
Donna works as Co-ordinator at Allendale and describes the place as ‘extraordinary’. “I’ve worked in Care for the last 16 years; working here at Allendale for be Caring in the last three years has been fantastic and so different to places I’ve worked before. I thought everywhere in the Care industry was the same but Allendale is a whole new level; it’s blown me away, the difference we make, and I wish I had worked here my whole career.” Donna describes feeling very much appreciated and feeling like part of a team, being given lots of opportunities to develop her skills. She believes this values-driven, ‘be the best you can be’ approach as a colleague at Be Caring translates into how they support Residents, and is key to the successful outcomes they see for people like Lucie.
Tracy explains “Life at Allendale is different every day. We live through life’s highs and lows together, celebrating the highs and learning from the lows. Nothing is ever ordinary – it’s entirely remarkable in every way; the sights, sounds, relationships, experiences and progress is individual for every person we support. A smile, eye contact, a shopping list, a hug, a favorite song, new shoes… they’re all celebrations here. Nothing is ever taken for granted and everything is celebrated.”
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