As every client is an individual so are their goals and aspirations. Here they tell of their own journeys.
We hope you enjoy reading and watching their stories.
Case Management - Ellis' Story
Ellis was born with cerebral palsy. Now in his early twenties, his Case Manager Janine has been working with him since he was 6 years old, and the strength of their working relationship demonstrates just what a positive difference excellent case management can make.
Janine works with Ellis to help develop the skills he needs to live an independent life. In recent years he has gained organisational skills and has a hand in some of his own affairs, such as managing his own bank account, planning weekends away, and taking a role in shift planning his own care team.
Ellis has always been outgoing and sociable but is now also focusing on extending the level of independence he has over his own affairs “Ellis’s sociability has been a constant, but in the past two years he has really developed his organisational skills,” reveals Janine.
To Ellis, Janine is more than just a case manager. “We can talk about anything,” he says.
Ellis lives a full life and never lets the fact that he has cerebral palsy hold him back. He loves going to the pub, socialising with friends and family, going on holiday and watching football and rugby. In recent years he has set exciting, ambitious goals and achieved them with Janine’s support, such as attending and camping at music festivals and staying in London for the Remembrance Sunday parade in London.
I'd like to thank Janine and my carers for getting me to this stage.”
I'm never surprised by anything that Ellis does, however, I am absolutely thrilled by what he's achieved."
– Janine, Case Manager
Ellis is now busy saving towards a new power chair “one that won’t breakdown when I go camping in fields!” and has developed career aspirations to join the army or design powerchairs.
Watch Ellis' Case Study to find out more about him and his experience with ILS Case Management:
Case Management - Saeed's Story
When Saeed was three years old, he was involved in a serious road traffic accident. As a result, he sustained a traumatic brain injury which led to right-side hemiplegia, visual impairment, learning difficulties and epilepsy.
Catherine has worked with Saeed and his family since he was eight. She started as his occupational therapist, and when his legal case settled, became his Case Manager.
Saeed’s case management support from ILS has embraced all manner of things for him and his family. When Saeed was 16, Catherine encouraged him to set his own goals for his ongoing rehabilitation progression. This helped him to identify a range of enjoyable leisure activities including cricket and pursuing his love of cooking.
As Saeed has moved into adulthood, Catherine has helped to support him and his family through his transition between educational facilities, providing housing adaptations to his family home enabling him to be more independent, and the recruitment of support workers to facilitate his on-going rehabilitation. Recruitment of the right support workers has been essential to Saeed’s recovery and development. Saeed also has a very close link with his Physiotherapist, who has been pivotal in promoting his fitness, wellbeing and outdoor interests.
Saeed attended the National Star College, an Ofsted-outstanding specialist college and charitable organisation which works to support the ambitions of young people with disabilities. The NSC played a key role in Saeed’s development. His passion and skill for cricket has reached an impressive level, and he plays for the Gloucestershire disabled cricket team, a truly phenomenal achievement. The NSC covered this in their news page here.
Saeed went on to complete his final year at college, studying Employability Skills and securing a part-time volunteer position in a local National Trust café. He also volunteers in the café at Gympanzees, a charity promoting inclusive physical activity for children and young people in Bristol.
Saeed has a full diary, with his support workers enabling him to attend sports clubs, successfully complete his work placements, expand his functional maths and literacy skills and further develop his independent living skills.
Saeed’s future plans are to develop his involvement in the catering business and to live with support in his own home. Enabling Saeed to make choices and decisions about his life continues to be the emphasis for the person-centred planning approach used in ILS Case Management.
Case Management - Jamie's Story
In August 1995, aged 7, Jamie was knocked over by a car outside his family home. Jamie suffered a severe brain injury; was unable to walk and had severe epilepsy.
Jamie was one of ILS’s first clients, and Karenmarie, now one of our directors, began his occupational therapy in 1999; initiating case management shortly after.
Since his accident, Jamie was in and out of hospital and undergoing rehabilitation for approximately ten years. Now an adult, he requires twenty-four-hour care and support, and uses a powered wheelchair both indoors and out.
In 2011 Eliot was assigned as Jamie’s case manager to support Jamie and his family. This includes supporting his transition through education, recruiting and supervising excellent support workers, and choosing suitable vehicles that can be adapted for Jamie’s wheelchair. Jamie now has one main carer each day which provides his mum, Lucy, with respite from his everyday care – a support that is highly valued by the whole family. Jamie also has a physiotherapist and occupational therapist to continue his multi-disciplinary therapy. Alongside this, he is encouraged to do recommended stretching exercises, and uses his standing frame at home.
It is a real privilege to work with Jamie and his family to help them work towards their goals. We learn and grow together"
- Eliot Lamb
He works closely with a neurologist which has meant that his epilepsy is almost completely under control. Eliot also arranges bi-annual team meetings for Jamie, his family and his support workers to get together, review Jamie’s progress from the past six months, and set goals for the next.
ILS helped us through some of our most difficult times"
- Lucy, Jamie's mum
Eliot introduced Jamie to Disability Initiative, a charity offering activity-based opportunities to people with disabilities. To date, Jamie has taken-part in cooking, sewing and ceramics – a very good match for Jamie who is very creative. He has also developed a passion for boxing and attends the centre's regular training sessions which have helped to build his core strength and stamina in an exciting and stimulating environment.
In his spare time, Jamie has been companion-cycling with his support-worker, enjoys going out for meals, and loves to play board games with his family and support worker.
Feels like we have our own personal emergency service, my case manager is always there to help"
Case Management - Emily's Story
On her way to a festival one evening in 2018, Emily was knocked down by a hit and run driver. Emily suffered a traumatic brain injury and was taken to hospital after being assessed by London Air Ambulance which is part of the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS).
While in the rehabilitation unit of Amersham Hospital ILS Professional Mentor, Tim Gilbert, visited Emily to make an initial assessment of her needs. At this stage Emily used a wheelchair and one of her first goals was to be able to walk her dogs. Emily has a goat, donkeys, chickens and cats as well as her dogs at home and cites her love of animals as a big part of her rehabilitation journey. On returning home she recalls how her Dad would push her along in her wheelchair when they first took the dogs out. But through her rehabilitation Emily is now able to walk at least 5 miles which, as she says, is handy as it’s far enough to get to the local pub and back!
Emily has also reignited her love of art through art therapy sessions and has been channelling this passion into making and selling cards to raise money for the NHS and the HEMS who Emily credits with helping to save her life.
In early 2019, Catherine was assigned as Emily’s Case Manager and has been continuing to support Emily in defining her goals. This includes returning part-time to the job role she had before her accident. Emily recalls: “It was really nice to meet Catherine and meet someone who actually could understand me. [Because] she’s got a physiotherapy background it was very helpful in that respect.”
And it isn’t just Emily who appreciates the support that Catherine has been able to provide.
Emily’s Mum, Ann said “I was very relieved when Catherine came on board, and it was a great help because she was able to come with us to view all the different rehab centres.”
With her rehabilitation going so well, Emily has also been exploring new career opportunities for the future. Having worked for a Superfoods company prior to the accident, Emily was aware of the connection between the gut and the brain and wants to pursue her interest in nutrition further. She is considering undertaking a university degree to advance this interest with a view to becoming a qualified nutritionist. Her love of baking has been a constant throughout and she is still keen, despite having lost her sense of smell and taste as a result of the accident.
Another result of the brain injury is a condition known as pseudobulbar affect (PBA), which results in episodes of sudden uncontrollable and inappropriate laughing or crying. In Emily’s case she will laugh or giggle even when she hears something sad. Emily describes it as “emotional incontinence” but is learning to deal with it and tells people she meets that she has it so that they understand. Despite the potential for some awkward situations, her mum, Ann, explains that the upside is that something the family finds funny will be absolutely hilarious to Emily which in turn brings more laughter into the house.
Emily’s strength is improving all the time and she has now re-learnt how to drive. While her choice of vehicle to learn in was not a typical learner car, the large pickup truck is the one she is most familiar with as she used to drive it to and from the local railway station before the accident. She admits she had the occasional “incident” such as almost bumping the family barn recently!
As with anything in recovery, the more you do it, the better you get at it”
Emily’s case manager has been amazed by her progress, stating “I remember coming to visit Emily just as I was about to take over [her] case from Tim, and physically [she] was in such a different position to what [she] is now… [She’s] achieved so much”.
Catherine continues to support Emily with her future goals which include moving out of the family home and living independently which is something Emily is hoping to do in the new year. With such a positive outlook on life and family, friends and her case manager beside her, we look forward to following Emily’s future achievements.
We caught up with Emily at the end of 2021 to see what goals she had achieved since we last saw her at the end of 2020, and find out what’s planned next for her journey. Click here to find out...
Case Management - George's Story
Case Manager, Suzanne Dickinson, has 25 years’ experience as an OT and has been providing case management for adults who have a variety of conditions and complex needs, including ABI and spinal injury, for over 8 years. Using her person-centred approach, she supports her clients in adapting to disability, maximising their independence and accessing leisure pursuits and employment, skills that were brought to the fore recently when one of her clients, George expressed a desire to get a puppy.
However, instead of simply sourcing a puppy, Suzanne took the time to get to know why George wanted a dog and talked to him about the benefits of becoming a pet owner and about the responsibilities and practicalities of looking after one. She recognised that a puppy would motivate George to achieve some of his rehabilitation goals and would provide an excellent way of assessing his potential to achieve independence in other areas of his life in the future. Suzanne then arranged for Becky a dog trainer to visit and work with George which prepared him for getting a dog and educated him about how to keep his pet happy, healthy and well-trained. George was supported in defining what sort of dog would suit him best and in finally choosing a puppy.
“Reggie” the Cockapoo arrived and when Suzanne went to visit, she said George opened the door with the dog in his arms and said, “This is Reggie and I love him!” Since then, George has shown greater confidence and is thriving on having this additional responsibility. Suzanne has worked closely with George’s work placement provider and made arrangements with them to accommodate Reggie so that he can safely accompany George to work.
Suzanne continues to work with Becky, the dog trainer in supporting George to learn new skills and develop existing ones. Becky has introduced George to dog emoji’s to help him to identify when Reggie might be feeling anxious and when he is just excited! Becky has been creative and has adapted her approach to meet George and Reggie’s needs. George’s Mum says the way Suzanne has supported her son to achieve this goal in such a creative way has been ‘life changing’ for him and has bought her and her son closer together.
The preparation, continued training and the relationship with Reggie has taught George so much. It has also taught Suzanne and others that support him, a great deal about George.
Case Management - Harry's Story
ILS Client, Harry, was 16 when he was involved in a road traffic accident which resulted in him sustaining a traumatic brain injury. Immediately following the accident, Harry was assessed by the air ambulance before being taken to the hospital. The effects of the injury meant that Harry has difficulties with his cognition, memory and fatigue. Now 21 years old, Harry continues to work hard to recover from the accident and tells us here about some of his achievements and goals for the future.
Before the accident, Harry reflects on having a ‘very easy and relaxed life,’ he tells us: ‘I spent much of my time outdoors – I was never really an indoors person. I always just got by whilst aiming to live my best life with my friends around me all doing what we loved.’ Activities he enjoyed included mountain biking and playing football, as Harry says, ‘Just being out and about.’ He continues: ‘I just always aimed to enjoy myself whether I was at work, school, college or outdoors.’
Speaking of his future plans at the time he explains: ‘My life ambition was to join the Armed Forces and progress a career within the REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) and work my way up the ranks until I could achieve the absolute highest.’
In 2017, Amanda was assigned as Harry’s Case Manager to support Harry and his family. This included assessing his physical rehabilitation and physiotherapy needs as well as supporting Harry to readjust and discover a new path.
Reflecting on the last 5 years, Harry tells us: ‘From the very beginning, Amanda was nothing but supportive with helping me get my fitness back to what it used to be. She helped me get a personal trainer and would ask for updates to see how I was doing.’
In the time that I have known and worked with Amanda she has always taken the time to explain things that I do not understand, and to make sure I was doing alright.’
In his quest to return to fitness, Harry set his sights on completing a Tough Mudder. He explains: ‘I was interested in a Tough Mudder as I had a friend, Frank, who had done almost 100 and seeing the videos and pictures of him doing them just grabbed my interest and it seemed like something I would enjoy - getting muddy and having fun whilst doing it. ‘
Training regularly in preparation for the challenge, Harry was more than ready when the day came, and as he looks back on the event he remembers: ‘The best part was the laugh I had with Frank throughout the whole course. It took around 2 hours to complete the 11-mile course, but the jokes and laughs I had throughout the course made it a lot more enjoyable and easier to do as we did not really take it too seriously.’
With this incredible physical achievement under his belt, Harry wanted to continue to challenge himself and started a Construction Management course at university. He told us: ‘It has been a big change in my life, and it took me a while to wrap my head around the workload and the whole university life but looking back at life previously I do not regret my decision to go to university. The work is hard, and there’s a lot to remember, which is a struggle, but it is around a topic I enjoy so it is bearable, and I enjoy studying.’
And what about his plans and goals for the future? Harry says: ‘My future ambitions at the current moment are to progress from university onto a master’s degree and then potentially set my sights on a doctorate. I’m ultimately hoping to progress into my chosen area of study.’
Harry’s Case Manager has been delighted by his progress, stating: ‘I remember when I first started working with Harry, he was so focussed on restoring his fitness and to have fun doing it, but more than that he was really driven to succeed. As I look back over the last 5 years, I can see just how far he has come, he’s already achieved so much, and I know there is so much more to come.’