Supported Living offers the people we support the opportunity to live where and how they choose – in a home of their own or with people they choose to live with. We work with housing providers to make this possible.show more
Houses are based in local communities and our teams of Support Workers follow individuals’ support plans to provide people with the type of support they need during the day and, if necessary, at night. This means that the people we support can do things in their local community – like going to the leisure centre, using the bus,
shopping and going to church – and do as much as they can for themselves, like cooking, shopping, budgeting and personal care.
Location: Bangor, Belfast, Coleraine, Cookstown, Enniskillen, Lisburn, Lisnaskea, Magherafelt, Newtownards, Omagh and Portavogie.show less
Gareth’s story is a powerful account of how our supported living services transform lives
“Until I was a teenager I lived with my family. Then I got moved away into hospitals, quite a lot of hospitals, to get help. I was put in residential homes too, but all the time I was unhappy. It was noisy and you couldn’t chat to any of them because they weren’t like me. I had to eat in the kitchen and I could never choose what I wanted. It was just handed to me. It was just not nice and I will tell you that I got a bit cross in places and they sometimes moved me.
“I was in Londonderry hospital for a long time until Positive Futures found a house for me.
“I love it here. There couldn’t be a better place. I have my dog, Lucky, and we go for walks and play. I have a rabbit, a guinea pig and a vegetable garden. I can go shopping and cook my own meals and I keep my house clean and tidy. I make decisions for myself. I help in the local bakery and the local shop and answer the phone at the Positive Futures’ office. When I go out with Lucky, my neighbours come out and say hello. I helped at “Bright Eyes” looking after the cats and dogs and play with them to make them happy and that made me happy too.
“I told the staff I would never go back to hospital. I like to see people not in hospital. I like to see them like myself, somewhere where they have a nice house where they can do their own stuff or talk to their friends and see their family more because hospitals make families a bit upset. A hospital is not the place to be. I would like to tell people that. If anyone wants to come and talk to me about it I will tell them as best I can.
“My biggest dream was to go to Spain to take photos of the dolphins and sea lions. It was my first time on a plane and I was a bit nervous but when we landed the people around me clapped and said well done, Gareth. It made me happy. I am happy in all my life now.”
Residential Short Breaks
Residential short breaks offer opportunities to spend time away from family and give families a break from caring.show more
Our Short Break Service based in North Belfast offers people with a learning disability the opportunity to spend time away from their families, gaining greater independence while allowing their loved ones a break from their caring responsibilities. Our new purpose–built facility supports up to 5 people at any one time.
Location: Belfast.show less
James’ story shows the difference the service has made to him and his parents Kathleen and Clive. Sadly, since this story was recorded, Kathleen has passed away
James Ratcliffe has complex autism and no verbal communication. He and his parents, Kathleen and Clive, are supported by our Adult Placement Service. James also stays regularly at our Short Break Service. Since this story was recorded, Kathleen has sadly passed away.
Kathleen says, “When James was younger, Clive and I had to deal with some really challenging behaviour. We were at breaking point.
“We always resisted respite, but we just couldn’t cope. We tried a couple of respite places but he wasn’t happy. He would scream, bite and head butt. Then we found Positive Futures. At first, James visited the Short Break Service just for tea. Now he goes for a few days every month. The staff are very good with him and so understanding of his needs.
“They talk to us about what he has done and how he has behaved. It’s important for us to know that. He had a very, very bad spell over about 18 months and we thought “this is it.” But they never gave up on him. We built up a rapport with the staff whom we trust absolutely. There is a consistency of care which means they put our son first. He is happy there. Needless to say, that means Clive and I can have quality free time together to relax and get our breath back, especially as we’re in our 60s. It gives us the strength to go on.”
Clive adds, “James’s and our quality of life has improved so much. They call it respite care and with Positive Futures the emphasis is on “care”.”
Peripatetic Housing Support
We provide Peripatetic Housing Support Services for people who already have their own tenancy. These services generally offer a lower level of support than that offered by our Supported Living Service and sometimes for a shorter term.show more
Location: Cookstown, Enniskillen, Omagh and Southern Health & Social Care Trust (Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Dungannon and Newry) areas. A number of these services also provide other supports, for example, with people’s “care”.show less
Noel talks about a place to call his own
Noel Curran from Newry leads a full life with just a few hours of peripatetic support from Positive Futures.
“All my family are away from home and I was left to look after my mother. My sister Bernie, who lives a fair bit away, comes often but I was on my own really. It was too much for me and Mummy was taken into a home. My brothers wanted to sell the house and that was fine because it had too many memories for me.
“About then, my social worker introduced me to Positive Futures. They stepped in to help me move.”
Teresa is one of the support worker team and she has known Noel since those early days. They have a close bond, borne out of working together and being there when times were tough. His stay in his new bungalow was to be short–lived.
“I was there about 3 weeks and eggs were thrown at my windows. One Saturday night I came home and the front and back door were smashed in. I called the police.”
Teresa helped Noel understand that it was not him who was being targeted. The vandals were searching for the man who had lived there before him.
“It was a terrible time for Noel. He knew he couldn’t stay there. We stepped in and helped him find a new place.”
Noel says, “This is the area my Mummy is from. I know people here and I have my local. I have good neighbours too. Teresa comes and we do housework and clean out the fridge and change the beds every fortnight, things like that. Only for Positive Futures…I don’t know what I’d do. They help me.”
Families Matter Shared Lives
The Shared Lives Service gives adults with a learning disability, autism or acquired brain injury the opportunity to live with and be supported by another family or individual (a Shared Lives Carer).
This support can be long–term, overnight or day support. Our Shared Lives Carers are ordinary, yet extra–ordinary, people who have time in their lives and, where required, space in their homes to offer someone support.
From long term arrangements to weekend breaks and days out, each Shared Lives arrangement is unique to what the individual needs and what the carer can offer. In short, Shared Lives Carers provide an experience of family life for the person they support whilst that person is with them. Carers come from all walks of life and in all aspects of their caring role professional social work support, training and guidance is provided.
Positive Futures Shared Lives Service is registered with the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority. The service is delivered in line with best practice and regulatory requirements.
Positive Futures is proud to work in partnership with Belfast Health & Social Care Trust in the delivery of this Service, and with Shared Lives Plus. Members share resources and good practice in providing Shared Lives placements.
If you want to find out more about offering these supports to adults and their families, contact us.
Location: Belfast and the greater Belfast area.show less
Kathleen’s story, the story of an enduring bond
“These days Kathleen comes to visit us once a month. We have been in each other’s lives for 13 years now and we have a special and enduring relationship that began when Kathleen came to live with us through Positive Futures’ Adult Placement Service.
“All my family had left home and I mentioned to my husband John about fostering or adopting now that it was just the two of us. By chance, I saw a leaflet about the service. So after many meetings and being assessed, Kathleen arrived with us for what was to be 6 months. She stayed for 6 years.
“I actually remember seeing Kathleen at the Special Olympics in Brighton many years before that. She was a great swimmer and she had, still has, the loveliest red hair! And there she was coming to live with us! Kathleen settled in and just became part of our family.
“I was so happy for her when she finally settled into her own place. That was in 2003, in supported living at Rigby Close. Neither of us wanted to lose contact, so she’s continued to visit us regularly, usually staying overnight. We chat and go for walks. She helps John with the supper. There are lots of grandchildren who all know her now; she was at all their christenings.
“Even though it is a long time since she lived with us there is still a bond between us. Kathleen is cherished and valued by the whole Hawkins family and that means a lot to John and me. When she reaches for my hand when we are together I know that means a lot to Kathleen as well.”
Location: Belfast and Greater Belfast area