Life turns around for Joe - Avenues Group
30 - 1993-2023

Life turns around for Joe

Thursday 30th of September 2021

At Avenues we know that creating the right environment for people is fundamental to their health and wellbeing, and the lives they deserve. Our service at Hempstead Road is another example of the impact of the approach, with new resident Joe thriving with the support offered …


The 28 year old is approaching the first anniversary of his transition into a small residential care home with Avenues.

Joe 18 months ago

Joe 18 months ago

Through the move to Hempstead Road, a house which he shares with four other people, Joe is experiencing huge changes in his life. It’s been a first year full of Joe’s own firsts, including holidays, social gathering and even bouncing on a trampoline.  It’s also the first time he’s had full access to a bedroom of his own.

Service Manager Balinda Wood explains: “The foundations for Joe’s progress have been Positive Behaviour Support, consistent support, and addressing his relationship with food. When Avenues started supporting him he was approaching 20 stone in weight. That has now dropped to 14st 3lb. We and the Avenues PBS specialists have worked really hard to understand Joe and his needs, and it’s wonderful to see the difference it is making to him.

“Of course the weight loss is about general physical health, but it’s also the gateway to so much more. Had he gained more weight he would not have been able to use a wheelchair, and his situation would have snowballed.

“The additional mobility and energy it’s all giving him means he wants to do more, and he’s getting to experience more of life.”Joe on holiday

Joe is now …

  • taking an active part in day to day household routines, from hoovering and shopping to making choices about meals.
    He also takes part in health and safety checks of the house.
  • communicating far more effectively, using a wide range of words and gestures. Before the move he was barely verbal and communicated his needs very little.
  • becoming part of the community, enjoys ‘rolling’ round local streets and visiting local shops and cafes.
  • understanding relationship boundaries, building friendships with his housemates, and rapport with his support team.

Senior Operations Manager Martin Slater explained the background to Joe’s move: “Avenues had supported Joe for many years the outreach services enabling him to access community activities and provide his family with much needed respite support.

“When the opportunity came for Joe to move to an Avenues residential service, a comprehensive transition plan was put in place that involved Joe’s core staff team, his family and other professionals. Due to Joe’s strong and loving family ties we knew that any transition would needed to be carefully planned and managed to ensure it was a success for everyone.

“Respite and permanent placements had been explored for Joe in the past but these were always very short lived as these services were unable to provide the consistency of support that Joe needs. He would often test the boundaries of a new service, which was unfortunately often seen as behaviour that challenged, as opposed to Joe making positive choices and wanting to communicate.

The carefully planned and executed transition plan was key to helping him settle so quickly, and it allowed the team to identify his skills and abilities and build on them.”Balinda

Balinda (pictured right) added: “Joe has such a great personality and is far more than his disabilities. He has a lot of learned behaviour and this environment is very different for him, so he has had a lot to take in and process. His mum continues to be really supportive and that relationship has been so important.

“There will always be more we can do for Joe, but it’s fair to say he is thriving and that just motivates us even more.”

“At Hempstead he has a staff team that understands his needs and what is important to him, and Joe is reaping the benefits.


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