Abbeymead Lodge is a registered care service providing a permanent home for 8 individuals, 18 – 65 years, male and female, who have a Learning Disability and Complex Needs.
Each individual has a diverse range of needs that are presented and identified through their Learning Disability, Physical Disability, health needs, the Autistic Spectrum and verbally and/or physically challenging behaviours.
Abbeymead Lodge has supported individuals who have Epilepsy, Bi Polar Affective Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Aspergers, Acute Anxiety, acquired brain injury and Learning Disabilities.
The home has 8 en suite bedrooms over 2 floors, decorated and furnished with their personal preferences.
The home is spacious with one main lounge and 2 smaller ones, conservatory, dining room and a large kitchen. There are 2 additional separate toilets.
There are extensive gardens to the rear, gardening for wildlife, lots of flowers, pots with herbs, bug house and hanging baskets, incorporating areas to sit and have quiet time, plenty of room for activities and entertaining.
The people we support have built their own BBQ in the garden and in fine weather choose to cook and/ or eat outside.
Abbeymead Lodge is well appointed being close to local shops/pub/hairdresser and bus stop right outside the door going into the centre of Gloucester where links to Tewkesbury, Forest of Dean, Ross On Wye and Cheltenham are easily accessed.
Activities include music therapy, singalong music sessions, various day centres depending on the wants and needs of the individual: cookery, arts and crafts, woodwork, IT, maybe accessed.
Individuals do voluntary work in the community in charity shops, drop in centre, café. People have meals out in pubs/restaurants, trips out and learn important daily living skills in house, enjoy family time and special events throughout the year, the most popular day being our annual themed fun day when all service users’ families join together for a day to catch up and to have fun.
Individuals who live at Abbeymead Lodge have been there a long time, we have a good relationship with families who understand the need to work together to support their loved one to live a full life, be as independent as they can be doing all the things they enjoy and being a part of the local and wider community.
To this end the person-centred approaches used ensure that individuals are encouraged to take part in every aspect of their care planning, their daily lives, their choices, needs and wishes. They are the centre of everything they do, creating a sense of well being and independence within their own abilities.
Not only that but the people we support are involved in every aspect of the running of their home from creating the weeks menu to sitting in on staff interviews and asking the questions they want to ask about what is important to them in a staff member.
‘It feels homely and friendly when you walk in’ people tell us. Abbeymead Lodge is ‘home’ in the true sense of the word.
Meet The Manager
In March of 2009 I wrote a letter to Abbeymead Lodge asking for a job with only life experience of 44 years, and no relevant qualifications, 13 years later I am still here, I am now a grandmother of 4, went from support worker to senior, home leader and most recently as Registered Manager of Abbeymead Lodge. I would never in a million years though this is how it would turn out!
I remember the first day clearly, I was very apprehensive, I was welcomed into the home, it felt homely, like yours or my home, I didn’t know what to expect. The people who live here looked happy, it was buzzing with activity, lots going on, I felt better already. Its still like that and I still feel like that.
I previously worked in a number of sectors including a wildlife rescue centre and teaching hospital, this is where I found my place in the world. Supporting young people on work experience and those who no one else would give a chance to, often with behaviours that challenge or learning or physical disability, I didn’t know then what I know now, but they needed the same opportunities as anyone else, so I gave them to them. I hosted them on work experience, taught them how to care for and respect the animals in our care, young people excluded from school would come with their teachers and they thrived, excited and fulfilled by the work I gave and the experiences they had. I saw these young and often troubled youngsters grow in confidence, develop skills and progress and surprise themselves.
I have learned about me, what my values are; would I be happy if a family member of mine lived here, yes I would, do I listen to the people I support, do I try to help them to achieve everything they want to achieve, yes I do. I am proud of the home I work in and even of my achievements to date. I learn something new every week, we are always learning and developing, change isn’t always scary, and if it is, well lets embrace it anyway and make the best of it.
I have the experience to support people through challenges in their lives, I stand for every vulnerable person in my care and ensure to the best of my ability they are happy, healthy and secure in their lives. Just because something appears ‘difficult’ it doesn’t mean there isn’t a way around it. My aim is to guide us all through the new normal; what ever that is.
The last few years have been tough and I am very proud of the individuals I support, their families and the staff team who have kept going even when they were exhausted and ready to give up.
One of the ladies I support painted a canvass with the words:
‘everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about, be kind’