Carys Anne’s Story
I arrived at Bendrigg Trust a few days into the LD Open course to swap with a staff member already there, who was supporting our client. I had never been to Bendrigg before and the location is amazing, it’s set on top of a hill in breath taking scenery and yet it is really close to the M6, therefore easily accessible.
I was initially nervous about coming in part way through the course, as everyone had already met each other, however the group and staff in all areas were really friendly and helpful ensuring I knew where everything was and I had everything I needed.
The facilities are just brilliant for our client, they were able to have freedom to explore in a safe nurturing environment and they did not need to be right next to me the whole time.
One of the most illuminating things to come from the experience was how myself and the individual bonded in a far more meaningful manner than just being their support staff at his home.
I was able to see a different side to this person, their personality really shone through. Their growing confidence and courage when faced with obstacles was humbling to witness. They conquered their fear of seeing through stairs and heights on the zip wire and I nearly cried when I saw how scared they were, despite their fear. Myself and the instructor gently nurtured and supported the client onto the zip wire, the instructor took her time to support us (I was scared too!) and I went down it with them and screamed all the way which they thought was hilarious.
Although my official capacity was to support my individual to participate, the nature of the week broke down any barriers that may have been there between support worker and individual, we were in a different setting and the week is devised to be fully inclusive – it is 100 per cent and our client is very independent so he loved it. The way that the Trust have set up the whole process of the week meant that there was an action packed agenda for both of us, the timetable activities kept you busy from the moment you get up to when your ready to go to bed.
I would like to thank every member of staff and volunteers for our amazing week, the experience will stay with me forever. I hope that I can go back with our client again next year, it really was an amazing adventure, with so many firsts from sailing, canoeing, tree top trek and braving the zip wire. I have made lifelong friends but most of all my bond with my individual is stronger and we know each other much better.