Josh Gains Independence after Getting a Job and a Flat

2022 was a year for achieving long-held ambitions for Josh; not only did he secure a full-time job working as a chef at a well-known restaurant, he also moved into his own flat for the first time.

Josh has been supported by Accomplish for nearly three years. The 30-year-old describes his initial time supported by the Gloucester Supported Living team as “challenging”.

He said: “I really struggled to manage my emotions. I smashed things. I was struggling to manage my finances and had 41 bank accounts and five mobile phone contracts. All of that was contributing to my anxiety. I contacted the Manager hundreds of times a day. It was tough.”

However, through building a positive and mutually respectful working relationship with Antony Haigh, the Service Manager, Josh has been able to realise his dreams through securing a job he loves and is now planning to set up his own business in IT.

He said: “I was always ambitious and always wanted to work and have my own flat. However, I’d been told by some professionals previously that I should maybe not be so ambitious. Ant really listened to me and to what I wanted to achieve and he and the team helped me work towards those goals. As well as working full time at The Ivy in Cheltenham, I want to set up my own small business building and repairing computers.”

Antony added: “Josh very clearly knew what he wanted from life and wanted to be much more independent. To want to work and to live independently are entirely reasonable things to want from life and we felt it was important to support Josh to achieve those goals however we could.”

The team worked positively with Josh, listening to him and helping him reduce the frequency and intensity of support he needed. His support requirements now have much reduced; two years ago Josh needed 24-7 one-to-one support. Now he has moved into his own flat he is supported on a minimal basis by the Accomplish team.

Working alongside Josh’s college, the team supported him to find work and maintain his job at The Ivy Cheltenham where he began his career as a chef just over a year ago. There his work has been so highly appreciated, and he is such an integral part of the team, that he was appointed on a full-time basis and is learning all of the “stations” including pastry.

Josh said: “I really enjoy working at The Ivy. I’ve been learning how to make lots of different dishes including the steaks and I’ve been in charge of the lobster linguini. Working with such lovely ingredients is fantastic.

“I’ve been shocked myself at how much I have been able to achieve and want to keep achieving. What I would say to anyone who wants to achieve their goals is this; get yourself the right support like I’ve had from Accomplish. They believed in me and helped me achieve the things I wanted to achieve.”

Although he has now moved into his own flat and has undertaken jobs such as putting up shelves independently, Josh is grateful for the support he has from the Accomplish team.

He said: “There’s lots of practical and emotional support still and it’s good to know they’re there when I need them. It helps me be more confident.”

Antony added: “We’re incredibly proud of Josh. Often people with learning disabilities can be overlooked; people make assumptions about what they can and cannot achieve. And sometimes people don’t recognise their specialist skills. Josh is a great example of someone who had belief in his own skills and who is making his dreams come true with the right encouragement and support where he needs it.”

So what next for Josh? His ambition knows no bounds. He said: “I want to run my own restaurant one day – and then who knows?”

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