Squirrel Lodge team praised for outstanding support


Squirrel Lodge is a supported living service where we support six adults aged 18-30 with learning disabilities and/or autism and behaviour that challenges. Over the past eight months the team there have been working with a young man, Ben* to increase his independence and find him a placement of his choice.

*not his real name

Ronnie Goodsall, Service Manager at Squirrel Lodge said:

‘When I first came to the service, Ben was unsettled and displayed high levels of behaviour that challenges. Through active support and positive behaviour support myself and the team worked with Ben to identify the underlying cause of these behaviours.

It quickly became clear that he felt over supported so over the following months we put a plan in place to increase his independence and reduce the level of support he received. As a result the frequency of behaviour that challenges decreased and Ben developed independence rapidly. He was the first pupil at his school ever to walk there alone and he began doing his weekly shops independently.

We also identified that Ben wanted to live with a family and arranged this placement, working jointly with his social worker and community advocate. Unfortunately in the end the placement didn’t work out and the whole team at Squirrel Lodge worked exceptionally hard to get Ben back to Squirrel Lodge within just four hours of the need being identified.

We’re now working with Ben to find him a placement in his own flat that suits him. I’m so proud of the whole team at Squirrel Lodge for their work with Ben not only in their response to the breakdown in Ben’s placement but also for all their work supporting him to develop his independence over the last eight months.’

Ben’s Community Advocate said:

 ‘A very big thank you to your team at Squirrel Lodge. As the advocate for a very vulnerable young man, Ben, I just want to ensure that Ronnie Goodsall and her team at Squirrel Lodge are recognised for outstanding support. Ben had been a resident at Squirrel Lodge for a few years and was recently found a new placement with a family. He was a found a Shared Lives placement, through Surrey Choices. However after just two weeks it unexpectedly broke down - your team at Squirrel Lodge leapt into action offering an emergency return with no notice. Many staff members gave up their personal time to ensure the most appropriate support plan was put back in place. We don't know how things will turn out in the medium to long term, but a short term disaster for Ben was almost certainly avoided through the care, thought, expertise and support provided by Ronnie and her team. Ronnie is an exceptional person and we will never be able to thank her enough for what she has done for Ben, including curtailing her holiday.’

Well done to the team at Squirrel Lodge for receiving such positive feedback, keep up the great work!