Mary has shared her experiences of her life before being supported by The Camden Society and how a positive behaviour support plan has led her to helping others in her community.
Mary lived a chaotic lifestyle for most of her childhood and early adult life. She had various ‘placements’ for social care support, but never settled so these often broke down. She would often become overwhelmed with her emotions and sometimes misuse medication, and she would then need to go to hospital.
In 2018, Mary moved to a new home in Oxford with two others and started being supported by The Camden Society. Her support team worked hard to get to know Mary and build her trust. Mary thrived in this calm and supportive environment, telling us she finally has a home.
This is the best place I’ve ever lived
Mary’s support team worked with many other healthcare professionals such as a psychiatrist, learning disability nurse, her GP and social worker. They used a Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) approach to get to know Mary, what was important to her, what made her anxious and what helped her feel calm.
This support from a stable staff team that could build up a relationship with Mary allowed other interventions to reduce in time. She was able to stop taking much of the medication that helped manage her anxiety and was discharged from psychiatry.
As she has settled in, she has also been able to learn many skills at home. This includes eating at a table with a knife and fork and she has reduced some of her coping behaviours. Mary has also learnt to get online and is more confident joining online meetings.
Mary has also joined a local self-advocacy group, My Life My Choice. She received training to become a travel buddy to help other people gain confidence and skills when using public transport in her local community.
Before being supported by The Camden Society, Mary had never planned a birthday party before due to difficulties managing her emotions and anxiety around big events. With her new coping skills and confidence, she planned her birthday in summer 2022, with her support team giving her time to think and choose what she wanted to do. Mary decided on a birthday BBQ, followed by a trip to Cadbury World the following day.
The BBQ was a great success! Mary was able to enjoy the day whilst finding quiet moments to help keep calm and regulate her emotions. She received some lovely cards and gifts that she proudly displayed in her home.
Mary has been able to build her wellbeing, confidence, and skills, with the help of consistent, personalised and patient support. This has allowed Mary to get more involved in planning what she wants to do and develop her interests. Mary has now become a regular theatregoer and has invited her friend to see Annie the musical.
Mary has also developed a love of animals recently and has joined the Pony Care Group at Farm Ability. Since then, Mary learned many horse care skills and forged friendships with others in her group. Marline the Shetland pony features around Mary’s home in photographs taken of Mary leading, grooming, and caring for the pony. Boo Boo the cat is now also resident at Mary’s home.
Thera is committed to using Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) to promote the quality of life of all the people it supports and reduce or eliminate restraint wherever possible. To find out more about PBS and restraint reduction, please visit www.bild.org.uk/positive-behaviour-support-pbs