As part of Learning Disability Awareness week 2017, we have been collecting good news stories from our members. Here, New Directions (Rugby) Ltd. share the stories of four of the individuals they support and how they found independence.

New Directions (Rugby) Ltd. supports learning and physically disabled people to live the life they choose. The charity encourages them to reach their full potential, to get involved in the community, to get out and about and discover their own life path. New Directions charity has been established for more than 65 years and provides a person-centred approach that enables the people it supports to make decisions, take control and lead independent lives. Here are some of their stories about finding independence.

Rob TeaRob’s Story

Rob who lives at one of New Directions’ supported living flats has been working at a brand new local discount store for sixteen hours a week since April 2017. He previously worked at a large supermarket, where he was trained to work on the checkout. He likes to get out of the flat, walks 20 minutes to get to work and looks forward to chatting to customers. Rob said “I work four days a week and that includes five hours on a Saturday when it’s busy. I know how to take card payments, but have now learned how to do contactless ones, which is a good skill to have. Before the shop opened in May I was stocking shelves, but now I am enjoying making new friends and meeting people on the checkout because they remember me. It’s also nice to earn a few pennies because it pays the bills and I can take my girlfriend out for a special meal. I have had a four-week review and I got six and a half out of seven. I look forward to going to work and it has made me more confident in myself.”

Tina at Sink SMALLTina’s Story

Tina moved into one of New Directions’ supported living flats at the end of April 2017. Tina lives independently with support staff available to help with shopping, daily tasks, cleaning and personal care. Tina said, “The flat here is 100% better than the bedsit that I was living in, I now have a massive bathroom and a separate bedroom. You can be yourself here and it is comforting that the staff are about. I like to get together with everyone else in the communal room, it’s nice. When you want time to yourself you can go to your flat. I have settled in and I like the nice walk to the local supermarket. I have made new friends and its easy to visit my friends from college and the clubs that I go to. The views from my room are lovely and there is a lot of light. I am looking forward to the summer and spending time in the garden getting together with everyone.”

Kyle Mobility VehicleKyle’s Story

Kyle is supported by New Directions at a supported living complex and has been helped to access the community in his own wheelchair friendly mobility vehicle for over a year now. His days out have included a trip to the zoo, visits to nearby towns and cities, an outing to the cinema, health appointments, meals out, day activities and many shopping trips for essentials although he would like to venture further afield and go on a short holiday to Blackpool for a few days. Kyle said, “I feel safe in the car, I wouldn’t have as much choice about where I go without it. The more staff that use it the easier it is to get in and out and it’s comfortable. I have more choice and freedom with the car. I would not be able to visit family without the car as my dad is a named driver and I can go to my family home for a lot of hours. It’s great in the car because I can listen to my music when I go out and about.”

Ellen’s StoryEllen Sensory Room 2

Ellen who is supported by New Directions at the charity’s day activities service is attending a course called ‘Ready for Employment’ at her local college for three days a week. She finishes the course at the end of June and would like to find work helping people. Ellen will be assessed on her coursework and has been studying all about citizenship. Ellen said, “I have made a lot of friends at college and that is the best thing. The college staff are helpful and I like my tutor. I think the course will help me to find a job. I am enjoying going to New Directions day activities in horse riding, drama and dancing on the days I am not in college, it gives me more confidence. It’s a bit scary leaving college but I have the best keyworker at New Directions. I think finding a job will be a challenge so I am glad that New Directions will be supporting me to find work in the future.”

New Directions provides a wide variety of support services in Rugby and the surrounding areas including home care, supported living, respite, day activities, residential services, dementia and transitional support to adults with learning and physical disabilities aged 16 and over, their families and carers. For more information contact 01788 573318, email or visit