Tuesday 21st March saw the global celebration of World Down’s Syndrome Day, as a way of raising awareness of Downs Syndrome and empowering the millions of people around the world affected by it.

Around a third of the people we support have Down’s Syndrome, so this is always an important day for Lisieux Trust.

2021 and 2022 saw big leaps in the representation of people with Down’s Syndrome in the public eye. George Webster started presenting on Cbeebies, Ellie Goldstein became the face of Gucci and Adidas and high-street brands in the fashion industry started using models with Down’s Syndrome in their advertising.

We loved seeing this happen and we hope it helps other people with Down’s Syndrome to feel that they are important and valuable members of society.

Every year there is a different theme to the awareness day, with the 2023 theme – ‘With Us Not For Us’ focusing on how people with Down’s Syndrome have the right to make their own decisions about their own lives; rather than other people telling them how they should and shouldn’t live.

We are incredibly passionate about this at Lisieux Trust. We know all too well just how often adults with Down’s Syndrome and other learning disabilities, or autism are told what they should and shouldn’t do by others.

We believe in supporting each adult to understand what their options are and to make choices that they feel comfortable and confident about.

People with Down’s Syndrome and other learning disabilities and autism are often expected to live ‘perfect’ lives where they make no mistakes.

However, adults without disabilities make mistakes or make choices that other people would consider ‘unwise’ everyday; they might shout, swear, sit and eat a whole pack of biscuits in one go, they might go out and have too much to drink, they might date the wrong person, they might take a job that isn’t right for them.

These are the kind of ‘mistakes’ or ‘poor choices’ that teach us about ourselves and life; they can be an invaluable part of learning what is important to us and feeling more confident about how to achieve it.

Yet adults with learning disabilities are often expected to avoid these scenarios because they are considered too ‘risky’.

At Lisieux Trust, we believe everyone we support has the right to make informed choices; our job is to ensure our residents and tenants have as much information as possible about each option open to them and to support them to make their own decisions.

If they turn out to have made a mistake or a poor choice for them; we’re there to help them understand and learn from it. And if they need to be angry, have a cry or need a hug, we’re there for that too! We believe this is what real adult life looks like, and everyone has the right to it.


Residential care and supported living at Lisieux Trust

With 11 homes situated across Northeast Birmingham – including Sutton Coldfield, we provide a place for adults with a learning disability or autism to live together, learn together and laugh together.

Find out more about the support we provide here – https://lisieuxtrust.org.uk/what-we-do/

Supported living allows adult with learning disabilities or autism to live life with greater independence while receiving the extra physical or mental support they need in their day to day lives.

It is a massive part of what we do here at Lisieux Trust. We currently manage eight dedicated supported living properties located across Erdington and Sutton Coldfield.

There are several benefits of choosing supporting living for your loved one and in this blog, our team are going to run through some of the key ones so that you can gain a greater understanding of how it works.


Enjoy more independence

Supported living provides the opportunity for your loved one to live a more independent life in their own home, with support tailored to their specific needs.

It is a great option to consider, whether they are leaving their parents’ home, living independently but require more support, or even transitioning from child to adult services.

Our support is personally tailored towards each person. It could be the case that a tenant may be independent enough to only need a short visit from a support worker, or it may be that a tenant needs 24-hour care.

Many of our supported living tenants also have fantastic opportunities to integrate within the community and attend places of work, volunteering roles, and higher education, as well as go out on lots of fun trips around Sutton and Birmingham.


A home tailored to their requirements

Each person we support has a tenancy agreement that grants them legal rights over their room in one of our shared properties and awards them the opportunity to have more independence in their lives.

They will be responsible for things like paying bills and the upkeep of their home which will help teach valuable life skills, but also provide a space to relax and call home.

Specialist assistive equipment will be available in each property depending on the individual needs and requirements of the tenants, including call systems, hoists, and automatic doors.

We know it’s really important to be surrounded by people you enjoy spending time with, so we support our tenants by finding suitable housemates with similar lifestyles and interests.

Our supported living homes are also set in the heart of their communities, meaning easy access to local amenities and attractions, along with having transport links close by.


The chance to create a home they love

One of the most fun parts of moving into your own home is being able to decorate it to your liking, and it is no different in our supported living properties.

This is another great opportunity for independence and can really help to bring back those home comforts that might be missed from no longer living with family members.


Tailored care and support

Whilst we encourage a greater independence for our tenants, we also ensure that any and all required support is always present. This covers lots of different tasks, including personal care, medication, and help managing finances.

Care is tailored to the needs and wishes of each tenant. Each person will receive a detailed assessment before placement to determine the level of support needed.

In some cases, tenants may be highly independent in some areas of life, but more dependent in others. Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if that is what a tenant requires.


Support from a team of trained support workers

Just like in residential care, our support workers are professionally trained, and their focus is on helping to improve the lives of the people around them, while ensuring that tenants are always treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Personal qualities are also vital for our support workers and team members. When we recruit, we look for candidates who have important qualities such as kindness, honesty, good organisation, reliability, and who are excellent listeners.


Discover more about Lisieux Trust

With homes and supported living schemes across Northeast Birmingham – including Sutton Coldfield, we provide a place for adults with a learning disability or autism to live, learn, and laugh together.

Find out more about the support we provide on our website at https://lisieuxtrust.org.uk/what-we-do/