Megan’s key to success is a smooth transition!
From the first day at College WESC Foundation works with young people with visual impairment and their families to start putting together a plan for life after college. Whether the young person chooses to forge better links with their community, continue in education, move into a new home or enter paid or voluntary employment, individuals are supported and encouraged at WESC Foundation to make informed choices.
That’s exactly what happened with Megan, aged 23, who has been associated with WESC for 14 years. Due to her visual impairment Megan started WESC Foundation’s specialist school at the age of nine. She then moved up to the college and now she accesses WESC’s Adult Day Services four days a week.
Throughout college life Megan’s goal was to live as independently as possible in supported living accommodation in Exeter. In the last few years prior to leaving WESC’s education a transition plan was developed with Megan and her family which looked at future aspirations including independent living as a top priority.
The planned transition process was essential in order to ensure a smooth transfer and minimise the stress and disorientation that can sometimes occur along with any changes.
The transition plan for Megan was set up through a variety of meetings with herself, her family, social workers, teacher and other relevant parties who all worked together and identified actions, timescales and responsibilities in order to achieve Megan’s goal.
After much planning, discussions and visits Megan felt comfortable about living with her peers in supported accommodation in Exeter, through the Devon-based charity Rainbow Living. Her accommodation is adapted to meet her personal needs and includes communal space such as a lounge, kitchen and dining room which she enjoys with her five flatmates.
The planned transition process gave Megan the confidence and ability to step outside of her comfort zone and reach new horizons in a supportive environment. She has been living at Rainbow House for the past six months and now calls it ‘home’.
Megan said: “At first it was scary to leave home with my family and live on my own with my friends. After thinking it through a lot and with the support of people at WESC and Rainbow Living, who all helped make the process easy, I felt excited when the time came to move in.
“My family visit me regularly and they are really proud of what I have achieved. I absolutely love living in my new home and WESC has helped get me ready for this stage.
“I am really good friends with everyone in the house. We all make our own beds and keep our bedrooms tidy, as well as doing day-to-day jobs such as dusting, polishing, hoovering, washing-up, baking and making our lunches and dinners. My favourite dish I make is spaghetti bolognese!
“During the evenings I like to relax with my iPad or watch a film with my friends. Sometimes Rainbow Living organise trips out such as going to the pub, walking, going to the cinema which I like to do…but by far the best thing is just hanging out with my friends.”
During her time as a border at WESC Megan learnt many independent living skills such as: cooking, meal preparation, shopping, planning a daily routine, money handling and personal budgeting. All these skills have prepared Megan to be successful in her move to Rainbow House and be able to live as independently as possible. Megan also participated in mobility training at WESC where she learned how to travel by bus into Exeter city centre and became familiar with all the various stores, learning which shops sold what products. This enabled her to make purchases independently.
Megan currently accesses WESC’s Adult Day Services where she enjoys recreational activities with her peers on a weekly basis. She helps produce a radio show, gets involved with baking cakes and her favourite session in the Adult Day Service is ‘Rhythm Sticks’, a percussion workshop run by a former WESC learner.
Megan continues: “The best thing about WESC’s Adult Day Services are the people, my friends and the enablers who make everything possible.”