One-on-one support success for Samuel

By Luisa Bustos, 20 May 2020 , Comments

Our Campbelltown customer, Samuel, looks forward to the school holidays. He usually attends Northcott’s Vacation Care program, where he participates in fun activities including swimming, arts and crafts, science experiments and community outings.

When our Easter holidays program was cancelled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Northcott’s Campbelltown In-Home and Community Support team started offering one-on-one support to young customers like Samuel.

The idea has not only kept support workers from our Vacation Care program busy, but it has also enabled Samuel, and customers like him, to thrive at a time when life was anything but normal. Samuel has Down Syndrome and initially struggled without his regular routine, seeing his friends and home-schooling.

Northcott offered Samuel the opportunity to access one-on-one support during the school holidays with familiar support workers. The plan was for Samuel to spend time with a support worker at Northcott’s Campbelltown office, working on school projects and doing fun activities together. The aim was to keep Samuel connected with Northcott by supporting him individually while his usual Vacation Care program was unable to run.

Northcott Campbelltown’s Centre Based Coordinator, Shaun Allen, explained: “During the holidays, Samuel developed a new routine. He would come into our office, get set up, then choose some board games and activities to do during the day with his support worker.

“Samuel’s mum Helena told us that he really enjoyed coming into the office and spending time with us. Although it took him a little bit of time to adjust, he was being supported by staff he knew well, so this helped a lot.”

Samuel’s school holiday routine worked so well that his parents requested the one-on-one support continue afterwards, while he was still unable to attend school as normal. For the past three weeks, he has continued to visit the Campbelltown office, where support staff have been assisting him with remote learning – as well as continuing to have fun and stay active.

Samuel said Coronavirus had made him a “bit worried” because “things have been very different”, but he has enjoyed his time with Northcott.

With schools now returning full-time, Samuel will return to the classroom with his own stories of surviving lockdown with Northcott’s support.

“I go to Northcott and learn with my workers. They are fun. I’m happy with my support. Everyone is nice,” he said.

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