Heart of the home

Posted on: 6th August 2018

John Paul (JP) has a new kitchen that he loves, thanks to his support worker Angelina

JP’s support worker team leader, Angelina, has gone above and beyond to get JP his dream kitchen. It all started when she was talking with JP about his kitchen and asked him if he wanted a new one.

“He was a little unsure at first,” says Angelina, “but after talking it through with him, he agreed. I made sure it was only him and me involved at first, so things wouldn’t get to confusing for him.”

The kitchen that JP had was old and poorly designed. His case manager, Rachel Blackbourn, says: “The kitchen didn’t work for JP due to it being very dated with a lack of cupboard space and work surface area.”

Once Angelina had the go ahead, she arranged for a kitchen fitter to come and measure up. JP and Angelina then started looking at a catalogue to pick cupboards and worktops. “initially JP was a little overwhelmed by this,” says Angelina, “so I kept it simple for him, did it in short bursts, asked him to choose what he liked and explained I would do all the hard work.”

Angelina wanted to minimise any disruption and stress for JP, his family and his support team as much as possible. The initial works, with the kitchen being completely ripped out and the floor pulled up, were carried out while JP was on holiday in Belgium. All the deliveries were scheduled for when Angelina was on shift.

“When JP returned from Belgium, the fitters were still working,” says Angelina, “so I made a kitchenette up in his dining room, ensured it was safe and that he was comfortable. He quite liked it and adapted to it very well with the support of the team.”

The works ended up taking longer than initially agreed, due to a new floor being laid, but in the end JP was very happy with how it turned out. He even enjoyed parts of the process. “He chose the colours and materials he liked,” says Angelina, “and I helped him with things like matching the cooker hood with his sink.”

JP wanted red kitchen appliances and accessories, as he is an avid Liverpool FC supporter.

Angelina helped JP to make the kitchen work for him, for example, two of the lower cupboards pull out rather than JP having to bend down and reach in. She also arranged for a cupboard to be fitted in a part of the kitchen that wasn’t used.

Rachael says, “JP now has more room when he is in the kitchen and it is much brighter, which all helps him carry out tasks independently, minimising physical and behavioural issues.”

Angelina says, “It was hard work but seeing JP in his brand-new kitchen with all new appliances has been the most rewarding time for me whilst working alongside him. He has so much more space now. He loves it!”

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