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How Gerard got creative and stayed happy during lockdown

When the pandemic hit, Gerard, who lives in a Lifeways supported living service in Nottingham, could no longer go to his day centre.

And then, when the day centre reopened, with restrictions in place, Gerard no longer felt totally comfortable going there.

So, working with Abbey and Dayon from his support team, Gerard decided to take up a new hobby: arts and crafts!

He also got into baking, and learned how to call his family members on his iPad.

Here, in his own words, Gerard tells his story of how he’s been thriving during the pandemic!

Gerard’s story:

The start of lockdown was strange for me. I was going to my day centre. Then suddenly, because of lockdown we had to leave, then when things re-opened, we came back. We had to wear masks and use hand gel. I didn’t like it as I felt scared.

My support team, Abbey and Dayon put an action plan in place. They reassured me that I was okay and safe.

I made a choice that I did not want to go in. They both helped me and Abbey contacted staff at the day centre and explained to them I didn’t want to go back.

It could have been boring to stay at home, but together with my Support Worker, Dayon, we came up with some great ideas, tapping into my creative side and encouraging me to be artistic - which, I so much love doing with him.

Dayon helped me complete craft projects. I’ve made some great things, which I’m proud to show and have many of the things I made and paintings decorating my flat. I even made a delicious cheesecake.

Dayon has supported me with developing my skills to use my iPad. I now know how to use it to speak to my family by video call.

This has helped me to keep connected with them during lockdown, reducing the risk of feeling isolated.

Recently, as the weather has picked up, Abbey has supported me to go out for a walk by the river. With her help and support, I understand that it is safe, they wouldn’t let anything happen to me.

We’ve met up with my niece for a socially-distanced walk, which I enjoyed.

Both my support workers have supported me well all the way. I am due to have my second COVID vaccination soon, and I’m looking forward to meeting friends for a meal outside at a local pub and being part of the community again soon.

Thanks for sharing your story, Gerard!

The manager of Gerard’s service, Jade Fidler, adds:

“I am extremely proud of the support that Abbey and Dayon have given Gerard, they have been very creative and supportive through the pandemic. They always go above and beyond to ensure that Gerard feels safe in his home and the community.

“We are all very proud and amazed with Gerard’s creativity.”

About Lifeways: 

Across England, Scotland and Wales, Lifeways' team of 11,000 professionals provides support for adults in the community.

Find out more about how we change people's lives at: www.lifeways.co.uk  

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