Jodie Blackham Good News Story

Jodie was referred to the Adult Learning Disability Therapy Team in May 2019 prior to her 17th birthday by the paediatric therapy team for the transition into adult services.

At the time Jodie was living at Starlight under children’s services. Jodie uses either a manual wheelchair or her electric wheelchair to access the world. Jaki Balmer (physiotherapist) and I went to meet Jodie and her support staff at Starlight. Jodie was a confident young lady, she told us what she did as part of her daily activities, demonstrated how she got around in her wheelchair and Meywalker and how she completed transfers and tasks of daily living.

Jodie was always happy to see us and complied with therapy. We problem solved any issues that arose with Jodie. Due to being under children’s services and living at Starlight when Jodie transitioned into adult therapy services we also became involved in future housing provision for Jodie. A few properties were identified and looked at for Jodie but were not appropriate for various reasons.

Mencap sourced and purchased a property and Jodie was identified for the property. Renovations to the property were started. I and Becki Houltby (Occupational Therapist) were heavily involved with this advising of what Jodie would need to make her able to live as independently as possible. Adaptations were completed and equipment was put in place to assist Jodie.

Due to Covid the girls moving into the property had not had much time to meet and get to know each other or the staff team. They had zoom meetings rather than in person so they knew each other a little before the move. Jodie finally moved into her new property in December 2020 just before Christmas. She was the first one to move in. Jodie had told me she was nervous and anxious but she was well supported from her team at children’s services prior to the move and had IST input and support to help with the transition of moving into her own home in supported living, Jodie met the staff team prior to the move which also helped with her anxieties of moving.

Since the move in December therapy have continued to be involved regularly, helping problem solve issues that have arose and support Jodie and the staff team

When living at Starlight had most things done for her. She didn’t have to make appointments, manage money, meal plan or complete jobs around the house, this was due to the restrictions of where she lived. Since moving Jodie has become such an independent young lady all. She is able to arrange most of her appointments for health. She is confident on the phone and able to sort appointments, report faults on her equipment etc. Jodie also completes tasks around the house, she is on the house rota for cooking, cleaning, shopping and other household chores. She ensures that the house safety checks are completed which includes fire alarm, electrics and fire doors. Jodie manages her money and now goes to the bank independently, pays bills, put her money in her money tin and helps staff count this in/out. This is enabling Jodie to lean the value of money and the cost of things. Jodie also completes the shopping she requires from the local community shops. She access the shops with her peer or independently in her electric wheelchair. Jodie continues to walk in her Meywalker daily and completed her physio programme.

Jodie has learnt so many new skills since moving and is proud of her progress as is everyone around her. She does not let anything get in her way. If there is a way to overcome an obstacle Jodie will find it and achieve more than she ever believed possible. Jodie has only lived in supported living for 4 months and has achieved so much in such a short space of time already. The future is very promising for such a courageous, independent, kind young lady.

Tina Mills

Physiotherapy TI

Community Learning Disability Team


 Jodie’s Story

When I found I was moving I felt very nervous and did not know what to expect. I didn’t know all the staff because of lockdown I didn’t get to meet all of the staff.

Now I have settled in I feel a lot more confident, happy and not stressed out. Before I moved into my new home I did feel very anxious and stressed.

As I look around my new home I feel very luck with everything I have and the things I can do. I can go to the shops when I want to, put my music on, chill out when I want to. I can cook and chose my meals. I also hoover, do my own washing, share chores around the house, such as using the dish washer, washing machine, putting the recycling out, hoovering and polishing.

I have set up my room how I want it and I love it. It’s a nice room to escape to if needed. My only dislike is fallouts with housemates.

I have achieved a lot. I can use the microwave. I have flipped a fried egg, peel spuds and veg. Open tins, hoover, clean, water house plants, wash, cut up things and make my pack lunch.


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