We started working with Billy in 2010. Billy is autistic and also has a moderate learning disability; he communicates using his own form of Makaton and lives at home with a loving family. However, Billy’s family had struggled to engage with previous providers of outreach care – they didn’t feel confident in the ability of carers and struggled to establish any consistent relationships.

When Inspire became involved in 2010, we completed thorough staff compatibility assessments to ensure that the staffing match for Billy was a positive one. We ascertained that he needed people who could adapt very quickly, who were very energetic and could provide the structured boundaries that he required. Once staff had been identified, we needed to get the care plan right; through meticulous planning with his family, we came up with a robust plan for outreach, giving Billy the stability he needed and mum and dad the confidence in the abilities of the team.

We worked up from a five-minute visit every three days to enable Billy to familiarise himself with new faces, to a two-hour outreach session twice per week. We eventually found activities that Billy loved. This was a long process but by chance, during last year’s awful winter, we found it; Billy loves skiing and anything to do with snow!

He now goes with staff twice a week and mum and dad have the opportunity to spend valuable time with Billy’s siblings. One weekend in four Billy also attends a short break with Inspire and has the opportunity to interact with peers, play in our fun-filled garden and access the sensory room. The staff have built a fabulous rapport with Billy and his family – in fact they have said that one of their highlights of the year is the Inspire Family Day, where families come together for an afternoon of fun and food!