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Meet Bernie...
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Meet Bernie...

DATE: 14.05.2024

Bernie has lived with Choice Care for four years now. Bernie has two Personality Disorders, ADHD and Auditory Hallucinations and first came to Choice Care as an emergency placement 4 years ago.  He has really progressed since his arrival and has been encouraged to follow his love for baking by the team.

Bernie says: ‘My passion for baking started when I was very young, I first started baking with my Nan. We would always bake when I was younger, we baked things like Victoria sponge and Croissants. I also baked homemade bread with my mum! My passion grew even stronger once I moved into a Choice Care home, the staff definitely helped me along the way! The staff are always great! Baking with staff is always great fun, they will always talk me through if I get stuck or lost on what to do next. I am always happy when I get to bake with the staff as this means I get to spend more time with them. I enjoy baking so much as it is very therapeutic and very relaxing for me.’

Bernie is particularly well known for his spectacular cheesecake - you can find the recipe below!


Bernie continues:’ I particularly enjoy baking on a Saturday so everyone can enjoy it on the Sunday for pudding after our Roast Dinner all together, I love the look on everyone’s faces when they tell me it's yummy.’

Kenzi, who helps support Bernie says: ‘It is important that we provide great opportunities for people to do what they enjoy, which also encourages them to set goals for themselves. Our residents are often over the moon when they achieve a goal and Bernie's face lit up very quickly when everyone had some of his cheesecake and has been delighted to receive praise on further bakes.'

Louis, Manager at Bernie's home says: ‘Bernie’s cooking is always wonderful! I have watched Bernie come so far living here. Bernie has support from his allocated member of staff. Bernie has just gone on to stage 2 of administering his medication with a staff member present, he is doing amazingly! Bernie is also supported to attend his medical appointments, whether that is with a staff member or his parents. Our residents do their weekly food shopping on a Friday. Bernie's allocated member of staff will create a weekly menu with Bernie and if Bernie would like his allocated staff member to support him out shopping, then we will do this. We create weekly menus as a healthy eating guide with our residents.

Since Bernie and I started making cheesecakes together, he has since become confident enough to go to the shop alone to get the ingredients without a shopping list and has also made them with other staff members, trying all different flavours! All the residents here always make sure Bernie makes ‘big cheesecakes’ as they all enjoy them so much!’

As well as baking, Bernie also helps the Choice Care PBS team with monthly training at the Fareham Head Office. During this training, Bernie teaches the staff about his diagnosis. Lily, Bernie’s PBS contact says: ‘I have had consistent feedback that Bernie is amazing at delivering this training and has absolutely captivated the staff team. Everyone who has seen him deliver the training has learnt so much from him. I speak for the whole PBS team that we feel really grateful for him offering to join us in delivering training each month.’

Lily continues: ‘I am yet to try Bernie’s cooking, but I am sure it is wonderful, I have seen him cook for other residents, and heard about his amazing bakes from the staff team!’

Bernie says: ‘Living with Choice Care definitely makes me feel safe and secure, they’re always here to give me a helping hand whenever I need it. I have come a long way since living here, I have learnt how to cook my own food, I am now administering my own medication. Everything the staff have helped me achieve has helped me see myself having my own place one day! I am over the moon that this is the placement chosen for me!’

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