Jay* originally moved in to Choice Care Group (then named Truecare) in 2007 from Children’s Services. Unfortunately, this was quite a difficult time for Jay and initially, he was very unsettled and anxious about his new home.

At the time, it was felt that Jay required a robust environment within a rural setting and his placement within Choice Care Group therefore began at Ocknell Park in the New Forest. By his own admission, Jay was at this time displaying some very aggressive and destructive behaviour and required a great deal of support from staff.

Over time, Jay began to settle and after two years, whilst he continued to require good levels of support, he and his care team began discussing the option of him moving on to a service within a more urban setting. Jay was keen to make this move and went to visit Appleton (another of Choice Care Group’s homes located in Southampton, where each person is supported to develop their independent living skills with a view to moving on to more independent living) to see if he liked it.

“This was a very positive move and I was involved in the whole process,” said Jay. “My experiences at Appleton are a lot better than in Children’s Services; I do my own cooking, am studying maths and English at college, and also have a job working with Choice Care Group’s maintenance team.

“My computer skills are very good and with the support of Choice Care Group’s IT person, I am developing a Service User chat room so that the people who live within the other homes across the group can chat with each other.

“I write and make music and if I say so myself, I am a very good rap artist! I have a lot of friends at college and am very popular with the ladies!

“Overall, I think if I had not had been offered a placement at Choice Care Group, I would have gone ‘backwards’. My plan for the future is to have my own flat and live with my girlfriend. I have seen several of my housemates move in to their own flats so know this is something I can achieve.”

Jay has made good progress in the relatively short time he has been living at Choice Care Group. He is a fun person to be around and can always be found on the dance floor at parties!

*Name changed to protect identity