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Positive Futures – Families Matter

Joanne and Stuart Stevenson are Positive Futures Short Term Carers and have been providing short breaks and respite fostering for Corey as a child, since 2010. They became Positive Futures Shared Lives Carers in 2020 when Corey turned 18 years of age.

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Joanne, Stuart and their daughters Vicky and Anna have built up a very close relationship with Corey and now see him as a member of the family.  The couples’ extended family also have a great relationship with Corey, particularly Grandad George who Corey refers to as his “best friend”.

The family are very in tune with Corey’s needs and support him in a person centred way. They let him choose what activities he would like to do and offer him a choice of meals. Corey is encouraged to be as independent as possible when at the families home and they are constantly teaching him new skills and ensuring he does not loose the skills he has learnt over the years, such as reading and writing; which Joanne and Stuart believe are important for Corey.

Corey goes for two overnight short breaks per month. Corey stated “I love staying with all the family and I don’t like to leave.” Corey went on to say, “I do loads of stuff with them, which is really fun I really like going to McDonald’s, watching movies, cooking, reading, colouring in, going to rugby with Stuart and singing on drives with Stuart in the car. I love all the family and it made me sad when I couldn’t see them.”

Joanne and Stuart Stevenson commented:

“Corey has been a part of our family for 12 years now and getting involved with him is easily the best decision we have made as a family. Before we became carers we had doubts about whether we could make a difference and what the impact would be on all of us. Looking back now we misjudged the situation, it is reasonable to have those fears but by staying calm and working closely with colleagues in Positive futures you find a way to resolve issues practically and overcome challenges.

Corey has been a star and we are so lucky to spend time with him and watch as he progresses through life. We are always surprised at the positive impact Corey has on everyone he meets and our wider circle of family and friends have all benefited from having this exceptional young man in their lives.

What we have found most important when supporting Corey is having a positive attitude and some common sense approach and the importance of building a good relationship with Corey’s family which is fundamental. After that you just need to find out how Corey enjoys spending his time and then concentrate on having lots of fun.”

Sonya Holmes, Corey’s mother stated, “The entire Stevenson family mean everything to Corey and I. They treat Corey like he is a member of their family. They are the only support I have for Corey; I appreciate everything they do for Corey. In lockdown I found it very difficult not having the support from Joanne and Stuart. They very kindly sent parcels in the post to Corey including items like colouring books which he loves.”

Sonya continued, “Offering short breaks to families means a lot; if you have any free time please consider offering support to an adult with a learning disability – you can make a difference!”

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