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BROCS Day Service from Voyage


Gail Withington, BROCS Service Manager

At Barnsley Road Outreach and Community Service (BROCS) we support people with autism, providing strategies to increase independence, happiness and wellbeing. We uphold the highest standard to ensure we meet each individual need.

Our staff are trained to the highest standard and our training programmes are designed to provide a clear, strategic understanding of the evolving role of a support worker for people with autism and enable them to feel valued within their role.

We work a multi-disciplinary approach with an emphasis on ‘Positive Behaviour Support’.  We use this approach to support people to develop life skills, such as natural consequences to behaviour displayed, allowing them to naturally learn about ‘appropriate behaviour’, social skills and inclusion, flexibility of thought and interaction.  This has been successful with evidence in the significant reduction in instances of anxiety and in other cases with enormous success and many positive outcomes being achieved for the people we support.

We fully believe that for some individuals who access BROCS, our approach has totally transformed their lives. We welcome and encourage family involvement and have introduced bespoke sessions for individuals after parents have expressed difficulty with certain aspects of their life.

One parent voiced their concerns around their daughter’s difficulties with washing hair and changing clothes.  We arranged a ‘Ladies group’ session, looking at personal hygiene and appearance.  The session was run in a person-centred manner to meet individual need and this approach achieved amazing outcomes, with the individual now taking pride in her appearance.  She also now allows her mother to care for her feet which, in the past has always caused heightened anxieties.  Mum expressed her joy stating ‘This is amazing for someone who struggles to tolerate touch’.

Another individual experienced heightened anxiety around hospitals and the sound of ambulance sirens.  Again, we implemented sessions around this and also invited St John’s ambulance to the centre so this individual could see the inside of an ambulance and hopefully take the fear away.  Again, a great outcome with no further issues around this topic and has resulted in this person being able to receive appropriate support for her health needs.

We strongly believe in the rights of people to make choice and decisions regarding their life and the inability to use verbal communication should not be a hindrance to this.  The primary purpose of choice is to give people control over situations, it is satisfying and motivating to be able to decide what you are doing throughout the day or what you will eat.  We use choice boards throughout the service and this strategy aids the comprehension of the auditory message and choice situation by avoiding the rapid disappearance of the spoken message regarding choices.

We were thrilled when a parent contacted us asking how her son had begun pointing for the things he wanted.  She stated how throughout the years psychologists had informed her that her son would never move on and develop mentally unless he could point.  We explained how we had encouraged the use of choice boards and other communication aid to promote decision making.  Mum stated that their home life has dramatically improved as her son now points for the things he wants instead of getting hold of his families arm and taking them.

One parent summed us up by saying  ‘Great staff, Great organisation and a credit to the care industry’

Edel Harris





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