Kenny has recently been given a diagnosis of Asperger's. When he referred himself to the Community Brokerage Network, he described himself as "lost". When the broker first met him she was struck by how hard he was trying to make a good life for himself but was struggling on a day to day basis to get out of the house, feel connected and find a purpose. Kenny had recently experienced a relationship break-up which compounded how he was feeling.
He wanted to know more about his new diagnosis and meet other autistic people. He had had no contact with social work and was interested to learn about SDS and the support it might offer him. On meeting Kenny he was keen to talk about his hopes and dreams which included a career within mental health and an entry phone for his flat. He knew about a course at a local college that he wanted to attend but was very anxious about supports that might be available, and a previous experience that wasn't positive. He was very clear about what he enjoyed doing, and did not!
What the Broker did to help
By liaising with the local social work team, the broker was able to secure short term crisis intervention support for Kenny. This provided a PA who came and supported him with daily living tasks and getting out into the community. At the end of the planned 12 weeks of support, Kenny, the PA and the SW agreed that he no longer needed that support. It had improved his confidence and supported him through some of the connections the broker had helped him make. The broker also helped him access occupational therapy support to get a door entry phone for his door. She contacted the college on Kenny's behalf and explained exactly what support he would be entitled to. Kenny has been offered a place to start college on a course which should see him progress into further education.
The broker was also able to advocate on Kenny's behalf to the National Autistic Society and he is is now involved with one of their programs. To address his desire to connect with other Autistic people she suggested a few different avenues that he could explore.
Keen that Kenny took as much control over this as possible the broker purely provided contact information; one of which was a group in the Meet Up friendship App. Apart from checking that M knew how to keep himself safe when joining new groups, she left him to make the connections himself. He was able to do that successfully.
The difference the broker made
Since then Kenny has become heavily involved in the Meet Up group for autistic adults and is now looking at setting up a branch closer to his home town. He has also got involved with other groups and organisations. He thinks this is because of the confidence and backup support that the Brokerage was able to offer him. Being able to spend unhurried time with Kenny, to listen to his hopes and dreams, validate them and help to facilitate new connections has been what he needed. It helped reduce his isolation, connected him with other people, reduced his stress, helped him manage his own support and moved from formal support to informal support through friendships and relationships he built up as his confidence had increased.