Benjamin (Benji as he likes to be called) lives with Pat and Trevor, in Amersham, through a Shared Lives Scheme. He lives with them as a family and joins in everything they do. Benji is 28 years old.
Benji was unable to travel on his own, but wanted to do something useful away from home. He applied to go to Workaid and was accepted. This gave Benji the reason to start to be able to travel independently.
Benji looks forward to his visits to Workaid each Monday and Tuesday. He gets himself ready and just before 9am goes out of the house after saying he is on his way to his work. He walks to the bus stop in town and catches the Number 1 bus which takes him to Chesham. Here he will pop into W H Smith to buy himself a drink and then continue his walk to the Workaid workshop.
Benji has increased his independence through Workaid and comes back home in the afternoon usually saying he has worked on plugs, drill bits or generally helped Barbara.
Benji enjoys the camaraderie of being in an environment of a variety of characters and sometimes buys a newspaper so he can talk about football or more particularly Chelsea, the team he supports and loves.
Overall, Benji is very happy with his life and Workaid is now a very important part in that life. Hopefully this will continue and help him develop more skills including listening to instructions and helping others.
CHIF’S STORY, AS TOLD BY HIS MOTHER
Chif loves coming to The Hub. He enjoys the social aspect and doing important tasks, which give him a feeling of being normal as it means he ‘goes’ to work. This helps foster a feeling of well being and self worth.
The Hub helps give Chif a sense of independency in a safe environment. It has helped him by travelling to the factory by himself.
Chif likes helping. He has a sense of being useful, of being a part of a team. He feels good about helping Workaid, because they help people. It also helps with his dexterity, sorting small things out. It helps him to learn to be more concentrated on the tasks in hand. He has developed a more grown up attitude to the importance of getting to places on time, of being reliable and making sure that you know when he cannot be with you. He remembers to tell me to let you know.
Chif sees The Hub as a ‘Proper’ job. He would never, not want to go, apart from holidays. The support The Hub gives is of immense value, as they accept Chif as a useful member of society and of the team. A value beyond words in an increasingly difficult time of cutbacks and in a society, which does not value those less able.
The Hub also gives Chris and I, a day when we can do things without Chif….very valuable in itself and we would all, Chif, Chris and I, be ‘poorer’ without it. In fact if there was no Hub, we would struggle to keep Chif as happy as he is…. The secret is being occupied in a worthwhile task.
Thank you seems inadequate. The Hub is such a blessing for someone like Chif. There is nothing which fills the gap between those more able and those less able…. Chif and the like would otherwise slip in the gap.