Melissa Atkinson’s Journey
In Melissa’s words,
Since coming to care first, I have learnt lots of new things, made new friends and I’ve become more independent and more confident. It’s a great place to come.
Care first has been great for her.
Two years ago Melissa left school, unfortunately, Melissa and her family felt let down by school and the local college. They felt a lack of communication and understanding of Melissa had meant she was moving backwards in life and not forwards.
With college clearly not being a viable option for Melissa her parents started to look at how else they could help their daughter. After contacting social services they applied for direct payments as a form of financial support to fund help for Melissa.
They looked into a PA coming for Mel but it took a long time to sort out with direct payments and when it was finally sorted they didn’t turn up!
By now, Melissa had been at home for two years, boredom had set in, she had no friends and as a last resort mum started to take Melissa to work with her – not a satisfactory outcome for Melissa, mum or her employer. Around this time Care First opened a Skills Tank facility in Tamworth.
Naturally, it initially took Melissa a few days to settle in to Care First’s Skills Tank after all she’d spent most of the last 2 years at home. She was in a position to make new friends, get involved with new learning opportunities and be around people, besides her family, who cared and wanted to help her.
18 months on and Mel’s confidence has grown, her personality has changed, she has matured and started to identify herself as an individual. Mel is definitely more aware of her likes and dislikes, her abilities have grown each week and she is now moving forward in her life.
Since coming to Care First she has made lots of new friends, she has completed a City & Guilds Personal Progress award, completed her Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene and is now working towards her personal progress diploma. Her new found determination and desire to show others what’s possible has enabled her to become a student mentor.
Mel’s mum comments:
The atmosphere at Care First is so relaxed, calm and welcoming. There is no exclusion and despite her severe egg allergy, she is able to cook and work in the coffee shop. She has learnt life skills including social skills, cleaning and using the training flat as her own.
Melissa now has a purpose in life, a reason to get up in the morning.
She never comes home unhappy, she has grown so much in development, socially and personality.
We are able to worry less about Melissa on days she is at Care First. We are now able to go to work knowing that she is safe and happy!
We were able to go away for a few days recently for the first time in many years!!!