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Helen gets back on the bus

29th July 2022

Helen has lived in her maisonette at Willow Courtyard, one of our supported living services in Coventry, for over 30 years now. She is in her 80’s and is still fiercely independent and determined to make the most of every day.

One of Helen’s passions is to take the bus and she is a well-known face to many of the bus drivers in the city. However, a few years ago, she was injured after a fall on the bus, so there was a plan for her to move into nursing care. But after a series of meetings with manager Tracy and her team it was agreed that they could support Helen so she could stay living at Willow Courtyard. The team were determined to do everything they could so that Helen could continue living in her own home.

Tracy said: “Helen loves her independence, so to see her going out every day doing what makes her happy is what makes this job so rewarding.

“Independence is what we all strive for, it’s the ultimate goal. Everyone wants to be as independent as possible – if you can empower one person to learn a new skill that is one more thing they are able to do themselves and could reduce the amount of support that person needs overall. Twenty years ago I taught one person we support to put his own quilt cover on, and every time I see him he still tells everyone I taught him to make his bed.

“That is why I am in the job I am in, enabling others to gain more independence.”

Helen has been able to resume her daily adventures on the buses, but now she has FitzRoy support worker Mikaya with her. Making full use of the local bus networks, they have been visiting Birmingham, Solihull, Leamington and Warwick – but they also keep it local as this week they’re visiting a new space exhibition in Coventry.

Helen chooses to receive the support she needs with her travel, medication, budgeting and shopping during the week, but like to live independently during the weekend whilst knowing staff supporting the other four people in Willow Courtyard are on hand should she need them.