Nick celebrates milestone with Mum and Dad - Avenues Group
30 - 1993-2023

Nick celebrates milestone with Mum and Dad

Tuesday 31st of October 2023

Nick Walker has been supported by Avenues for over 20 years. We first told his story in 2021 when, after suffering a stroke, he was in the early stages of rehabilitation. Two years later, after ups and downs, Nick has achieved a major milestone not just in recovery but life in general.

Prior to a stroke in 2019 Nick Walker had been one of the most active members of Avenues Holly Lodge residence in Kent. He would go out regularly and was described by support staff as a ‘live-wire’. His stroke in 2019 changed everything in an instant. He lost the use of one of his arms and was largely confined to his flat. It’s a moment that’s etched on his father’s memory, “The sky fell in on us that day and on him of course. We weren’t quite sure of the level of damage and they [the doctors] were unable at that time to say how much he would recover,” said Dr. Walker.

Nick’s story from 2021

The service began an active recovery programme with Nick, including training staff in stroke rehabilitation methods, “As a team we were committed to doing everything we could to somehow get him back on his feet,” said former Service Manager Mel Bentley. “None of the team had any previous experience of dealing with stroke rehabilitation, so we arranged training that would equip everyone with the skills and knowledge to give Nick specialist support based at home at his service, Holly Lodge,” she said.

New wheelchair means getting out more

Two years on Nick’s health has gone from strength to strength under current manager Louise Gladwin, whose commitment and persistence is paying dividends, “Nick is doing great! He now has a new wheelchair that has been made for him. It has the right height and safety parts to meet his needs. We have waited over 8 months for it because of Nick’s height, the small wheelchair vehicles didn’t have enough head space. It’s been a long road but we have finally got there,” said Louise.

Nick’s new wheelchair has meant he has returned, if slightly adapted, to the active life he enjoyed prior to the stroke, said Louise “Nick is now living his best life as he was before he had a stroke. He’s getting out every day and our next plan is for Nick to go to a restaurant with his mum and dad for a meal out”.

According to Louise, Nick has never been able to sit down and eat a meal with his family, “The last attempt was 13 years ago which ended in mum and dad needing to leave within 10 minutes, “she said.

A very special lunch

However this all changed recently. With lots of planning and hard work from Nick’s staff Kasia and Lena,  Nick’s mum and dad’s dream to sit down for meal with their son came true. For the family it was an unforgettable experience, “We both enjoyed our lunch yesterday. After a little “wobble” to start with, Nick settled down very well and enjoyed a substantial lunch. We thought the food was fantastic and the service was excellent. We are definitely coming to this restaurant again!”

Dr. Walker remains full of praise for the committed team, “We were so impressed with the tender love and affection shown by Kasia and Alona to Nick. We know he is in very good hands with the two lovely ladies and all the other people in your team who work with Nick. You should be very proud of the team you have built,” he said.

It’s definitely one of the service’s big Smile Moments; “We hope it makes everyone else smile as much as we did,” said Service Manager Louise.

Join our team

There’s nothing like the feeling of seeing someone do something they never thought they would do, and the progress they make. By working with us at Avenues, you could make a real difference to people’s lives, like Nick. We have services across the South East, London, East of England and West Midlands. We provide sector-leading training and support, and offer the opportunity to study for qualifications if you’re new to social care. ​

Check out our job opportunities today! You can also call our Recruitment team on 0203 535 0509. We look forward to hearing from you soon.