How long does it take you to make a cheese and cucumber roll?
For Adrian, who was born with Cerebral Palsy, it has taken 5 weeks.
Adrian, 25, has lived at Enham Trust – a leading disability charity based in Andover, Hampshire – for 6 years.
Thanks to the unique support he’s received there, Adrian has gained the skills to make his own lunch. In fact, he now has the confidence to try more complicated dishes; he’s already planning to cook up a sumptuous lamb stew for when his family come to visit!
“Now, I make my own breakfast everyday – being given the chance to do it myself makes such a difference,” Adrian says. “At first, I wasn’t sure how I would cope but the independence it provides gives me pride and makes me feel happy.”
For Adrian, who uses a wheelchair, learning how to cook isn’t just about the food. It means finding the most accessible equipment, planning for the extra time involved and working out the best way to negotiate the physical task of cooking.
Many of us see the beginning of a new year as the opportunity to change, to take on new challenges and reinvent ourselves. For Adrian, 2015 brings with it the chance to continue building on the confidence and independence living at Enham Trust has given him, tying in perfectly with the Charity’s The Power of Yes (#PowerofYes2015) campaign. The charity wants everyone to share their aspirations for 2015 with them via Twitter. Enham Trust will keep in touch via Twitter throughout the year – making it more likely you will stick with your challenge / resolution throughout the year. Adrian’s journey has already begun thanks to his culinary exploits.
He’d never been given the chance to try cooking anything before, so Adrian was unsure of how he’d get on, but with the ongoing support provided by Enham through his Occupational Therapist, he stayed positive and focused on the task, starting with simple meals.
Finding his way around the kitchen is just the first step towards Adrian’s goal of building an independent life. Ultimately, he wants to move into his own, purpose-built bungalow created by Enham Trust, onsite at the newly developed Weston Court.
“I can’t wait to move in! That was my dream… living in a place like Enham Trust, having the confidence to come and go as I please, and not stuck inside thinking ‘I can’t do that’… When you’re like me in a wheelchair, you need extra confidence in life”.
Adrian currently lives in his own flat in one of Enham Trust’s three 24 hour supported residential homes.
Together with Enham’s Person Centred Planning (PCP) Specialists, Hobbs Rehabilitation and Occupational Therapy services (an Enham partner) have been working with Adrian since September 2014 on building specific steps & creating plans towards living the life he chooses.
“I’ve always wanted to be as independent as possible… PCP has helped me set my goals and gradually build up my life. I didn’t get as much out of my last experience as I do from the person centred approach Enham takes. I’ve really benefited from it.”
So, what’s next for Adrian? He will be moving into his new home in the next few weeks, and in the meantime will continue the part time work placement Enham Trust has supported him to gain at a local school.
“I help as a Classroom Assistant listening to 5 & 6 year olds read. Children are brilliant. They treat me as a normal person and always help pick things up if I drop them.”
Adrian also enjoys his role as one of the founding members of the Radio Enham production team – Enham Trust’s internet radio station, run by disabled people for all listeners.
For Adrian, the hard work will continue with ongoing support from Enham Trust, to develop new and more complex skills and as his confidence grows he already making plans for the future:
“My biggest wish is to have a proper job… As long as I can progress in life then I’m ok.”