Anne B. has agreed to have her photograph and first name used as a Case Study. She wants people to know how Branching Out has helped her to become independent. Anne is 34 years old and until recently she lived at home with her mum and dad. She does not like being rushed, noise, crowds, and changes to routine.
Baking, art and craft activities, music, girly stuff, family and friends are very important to her.

Anne likes to feel in control of decisions that affect her life. Over a 2 or 3 year period we have been helping Anne to think about what is important, to help her improve her confidence and think about becoming independent. We have helped her to work with her Care Manager and an Advocate to talk about whether she wanted to move into her own independent flat. At first she did not want to talk to people she did not know so we supported her (with tea and cakes) to get to know and trust them, and reassure her about things she was worrying about. Along the way Anne was worried about many things and one by one each worry was talked about so that Anne had control and each decision was hers.

Anne’s confidence has improved as she has felt more in control of her decisions and her support circle have understood who or what is important to her.

You just helped me a big lot especially when I moved. When I have been worried about something Susan took me out. It did cheer me up and we talked about it. It felt like I wanted to get it out of me and it was just a lovely day we had.— Anne B. March 2012


darren sDarren S. has been coming to Branching Out since it first started. In those days he came to us about once a month, and he currently comes to us for support 4 days a week.

He has increased in confidence over this time and loves looking after the place, and caring for the site. This year he has got his own garden plot called “Darren’s Show Garden.” He has sectioned off his garden to make sure no one accidentally walks on it and he has chosen the plants he wants in it, and waters it every day. He has always liked working in the Sapling Project, and in the last year he has been enjoying working in the Seasons Project. More recently Darren wanted to do some exercise to help his fitness. We organised for an experienced Branching Out volunteer to take him to the local leisure centre every week so that he can use the exercise equipment.

Darren has been working hard during the winter with the team, taking down some overgrown trees. He also asked if we could have chickens. The Seasons Project have made a chicken coop with Darren’s help. During March 2012 Darren went out to buy chicken food and other equipment so that we are ready for the chickens’ to arrive. Darren and his friends are planning to help look after the chickens every day.

Feels comfortable here, at home.— Darren S.

During the last year Darren has been confidently making friends with new people.

I’m doing alright now. I do weights, treadmill, exercise bike and the rowing machine. Richard (volunteer who takes Darren to the leisure centre) is alright, he is helpful and friendly. They are nice staff here. I have got lots of new, different friends. It’s good work experience.— Darren S.