Supporting people to achieve dreams and flourish is one of our main passions here at Yarrow. Sometimes that means challenging and supporting people to overcome their fears and worries.
Stephen had a fear of flying, which really limited his ability to travel overseas. His dream was to visit Ireland where he was born and where many of his family came from. He wanted to see Dublin in particular. Stephen’s support team put a plan in place to support him to make this trip. The first step was to apply for Stephen’s first passport, after first obtaining a copy of his birth certificate.
Stephen was excited to have his passport but was still feeling anxious about the flight. His support team spent lots of time talking with him about it. They talked about what Stephen could expect on the journey, from how they would get to the airport and where they would get breakfast, through to what you do on an aeroplane – when you wear your seatbelt, how it will feel on take-off and landing, how long the flight will last and so on. Gradually, Stephen began to feel more confident about the trip, and in fact even began to look forward to the flight!
Finally, the day arrived: last autumn, Stephen flew to Dublin, with support, and stayed there for five nights. The flight went very smoothly, Stephen was calm and happy and enjoyed the experience throughout.
In fact, he enjoyed it so much that he has already started to plan his next trip. This time he is looking somewhere a little further afield, perhaps in Spain, and maybe a joint trip with his housemates. Stephen has completely overcome his fear of flying and will now be able to travel wherever he wants.
Anthony is another good example of how the right support can open up new options and possibilities. Anthony doesn’t use speech, is partially sighted and hard of hearing. He used to love going on holiday but over the last four years this have become more and more difficult due to his anxiety in certain situations. Recently, Anthony’s support worker, Cecilia, felt that with the right support, he would really enjoy a holiday and she was determined to support him. Cecilia has known Anthony for 20 years, and they have a strong bond. Last year, he took a week’s trip to Majorca along with Cecilia, another person that he lives with and a second support worker, Tim. The trip went really well, and Anthony remained relaxed throughout the holiday and had a great time. He especially enjoyed time at the beach, boat trips and visiting different place to eat.
On his return, Anthony signed that Stephen should get to have another holiday too – perhaps they will all go away together in future!