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Nicole’s Story

Nicole moved to our Tayview residential service at Upper Springland in Perth following a move from Edinburgh in 2017. 

When Nicole first arrived at Tayview she didn’t speak or engage with staff and other residents. With help and support Nicole learned to use some symbols which she could recognise in her daily life, like brushing her teeth, getting dressed and looking after her hair. Initially Nicole found it difficult to speak with new people,but with support from staff as well as speech and language therapy Nicole has found her voice.

When Nicole moved in, she went for her first haircut but was understandably a bit scared. She visited a hairdresser, who was a friend of a staff member. They spent some time showing Nicole what happens when you visit a hairdresser, and Nicole was given a doll’s head to practice hairstyles on. Once she felt ready, she tried sitting in the hairdresser’s chair, and then eventually built up the confidence to have her own hair cut.

Before Nicole moved into Tayview, she didn’t own many of her own belongings, but she has worked with staff to understand spending and money. She saved up to buy a new double bed for herself, and a sofa so she can sit comfortably and watch her favourite television programmes.

There have been many changes in Nicole’s life and some of these changes have been hard but with the help of staff and our other residents, she is developing her own strategies to deal with the change in her lifestyle.

She has kept trying new things even when this feels daunting. Nicole now has the confidence to tell the staff if she is feeling unsure, and they will often try activities first so Nicole feels reassured and then has the confidence to try for herself.

Rachel, Nicole’s support worker said “Nicole has really come out of her shell since the first day I met her. She would not even look at me at first but now she plays with my hair and chats away; it’s like she is a totally different person. She is much more confident in herself and looking after herself much better. She even helps around the service by delivering the post. She always makes me smile”.

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