Ola Barcelona!

Gr8 support can mean many things to different people – encouraging, supporting, advocating, respectful to name a few.

Umal, Deputy Manager at Certitude’s Richmond service embodies these in every way. Here, she tells us about supporting Moshiur on his first holiday abroad…

“Moshiur has autism and communicates with few words. He was very enthusiastic and excited about his first holiday abroad in Barcelona. Moshiur’s family were very supportive but naturally were worried as Moshiur had never travelled abroad before. However, careful planning by the staff support team took away their concerns.

For the flight, staff spoke with the airline and explained possible scenarios of behaviour which may prove difficult, discussing appropriate ways to deal with situations should they arise. With the air crew being very helpful and accommodating through this process.

In the days running up to the holiday, a social story was made with Moshiur, so he could better understand what was going to happen. This included videos and photos of airplanes.

Once in Barcelona Moshiur wanted to visit the stadium which is home to one of the biggest football clubs in the world; Barcelona play their home matches there and Moshiur was very happy and excited visiting the players’ room where the likes of Messi get changed!  Moshiur was amazed with this experience as football has been his life long passion .

Other activities enjoyed was a trip to the Ferrari Theme Park  – cars are another love of Moshiur’s – and with careful planning this visit was very successful, with Moshiur being able to enjoy joining in many of the events held there.

Moshiur loved to spend time on the beach and he loved the sand and sea. Even though he has a phobia of dogs, and this has stopped him doing outdoor activities, Moshiur managed to enjoy the whole holiday.  For Moshiur to be outside and cope with being around dogs, was a huge step for him.”

Moshiur overcame many obstacles, such as experiencing long travel journeys and crowded areas. New, unfamiliar environments and changes in routine with new activities can be difficult for him, but because of the skills, dedication and commitment of his team the trip was a huge success and has paved the way for new opportunities and experiences in the future.

Certitude is a proud member of the Gr8 Support Movement, a network of support workers, team leaders and managers who share best practice and constantly aim to inspire people to ‘be the best they can be’.