A Happier Life Project

Your Wishes, Your Needs, Your Rights

Covid-19 and Beyond

We use an ‘inside out’ approach -truly understanding what a person wants, and has the right to have- to support them to make positive changes, sometimes to move home or from a hospital setting, always working alongside individuals who are finding it hard to cope. to learn from them about the most effective ways in which to manage their stress and anxiety, and to live a happier life.

We do this by

  • learning how to communicate with the individual in a way that they feel comfortable with, and at their own pace
  • exploring and developing positive opportunities and approaches that they might like to incorporate into their weekly timetable
  • creating bespoke resources and activities led by their own preferences, wishes and needs

How do we relate

  • We get to know and understand the person, learn their story, how they like to communicate and their unique perspective – they are the experts on themselves and their lives
  • We always treat people with respect
  • We offer non-judgmental, unconditional support
  • We offer choices, and always communicate on their terms
  • We engage with people, build trust and rapport, and where possible we offer the choice of a member of our team who is the best ‘match’ for them
  • If something is new to us, we will learn. If we don’t know about a specific interest, we will learn to the best of our ability or find someone else who does
  • We develop a friendly relationship, as partners and equals
  • Wherever possible we link with the closest family members and/or friends/carers

Pioneer Approaches usually offers a menu of sessions, one to one and in groups. Currently most of our work is achieved remotely and we can work with families and carers to provide training, guidance, and session ideas. We can also offer some outreach work, within the Covid-19 guidelines. Some of our work is indirect, working to provide advice, guidance, and support via a family member and/or another service provider.

Options include:

  • Sensory sessions, this can include massage, music, and relaxation, and ‘Sensory Detective’ working alongside the Individual to create a ‘menu’ based on their preference – Teach family/carers to deliver this
  • Creative media, developing, presentations together. We can also make and send films, letters and other resources based on the individual’s interests
  • Performing Arts sessions using film and creative media to develop self-confidence, personal development, and creative self-expression
  • Music sessions, playing an instrument (guitar, drums etc.), playing as a band, singing solo or as a choir, creating songs and soundscapes, drumming, digital music
  • Dance, movement to music, solo or with a group
  • Cooking Delicious Healthy Meals
  • Arts sessions, using a variety of media
  • Other bespoke sessions include Team Games (if in a group setting), Book Club, Relationships, All About Me (My Autism), Healthy Living, Better Lives
  • And a whole host of other possible options, some of which may be completely new, created to suit the person we are supporting

Wherever possible, Pioneer Approaches will seek out services already available within the community to access activities and opportunities for individuals across Hertfordshire, drawing on their knowledge and experience of delivering projects and working in partnership with a number of organisations

We can communicate with individuals, family members/carers, service providers who can call via calls, text, skype or other apps at an agreed time. We can give guidance, support, and encouragement, from Pioneer Approaches session leaders, a parent/Carer who is an ‘Expert by Experience’ and peers with learning disabilities/autism, plus invited professionals.  And we can put people in touch with others with a shared experience.

Training:

We can deliver training directly to care provider staff teams, families, carers, and/or the person concerned together with their support, and these will be tailored to meet the needs of the Individual. This can include but is not limited to: Autism Awareness, Positive Approaches, How to Run a Session (e.g. sensory, building rapport, book reading sessions), and much more

Our work is relaxed, informal, and non-directive. Rather than focusing on ‘behaviour modification’ and expecting someone to learn how to adapt to the world around them, we find out about their own unique way of life and how to adapt to that, discovering where we can meet and how we can build bridges between one another.

We are a neurodiverse team. Most of our team are neurodivergent. Some have ADHD, some are autistic, some both; some have physical disabilities, some learning disabilities, and various mental health differences or have family members with a lived experience. We believe this is why we are known for having such positive outcomes, because we truly understand what it means to have a different perspective of the world, and what it feels like to be misunderstood, stereotyped and judged by others.

As a team we are committed to keeping up to date with the latest thinking and the current body of knowledge. We are part of the neurodiversity movement and champion the rights of neurodivergent people and their families.

 


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