Achieve Together Care Homes Hosts Supportive Therapy Day for People With Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities


On 27 July 2023, Achieve together hosted its annual Supportive Therapy Day for people who have profound and multiple learning disabilities. Over 40 people that the organisation supports came together at Clifton Hall School for the therapy day. These individuals live in 17 Achieve together care homes.

Accompanied by their support workers and families, the individuals enjoyed several activities that Achieve together had prepared.

14 Therapy Exercises

Achieve together’s Head of Health and Clinical Governance Erren Wheatland arranged 14 therapy exercises with her team for the event. Several wider Achieve together team members and Unity representatives also helped.

Nine of the activities took place indoors, and five took place in the playground. Although the weather was drizzly compared to the warm weather attendees enjoyed last year, this weather didn’t get in the way of the attendees’ fun.

The activities included:

Sensory stories.
A sound bath session.
Music therapy.
Smelling a variety of foodstuffs at the Smellovision stand.
A relaxing hand or foot massage.
Creating painted bags.
Making peppermint creams to take home.
Using the hydrotherapy pool.
Using the sensory pod.
Meeting animals.
Using the accessible swing.

Disco And Pimp My Chair Competition

Attendees also enjoyed a disco and Pimp My Chair competition in the main hall. This competition encouraged attendees to decorate wheelchairs. The attendees came up with creative designs based on:

Frozen Disney princesses.
A bathtub.
The Batmobile.
A jeep.
A tank.
Betty Rubble in her Flintstones car.
A pirate ship.
The Trotters’ van from Only Fools and Horses.
A princess in a pleated newspaper dress.
Two hot air balloons.

It was so difficult to choose the best entry that the judges selected joint first-, second- and third-place winners.

Supporting People Who Have Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities

Supportive Therapy Day provides an enriching experience for people Achieve together supports who have profound and multiple learning disabilities.

Here’s an insight into how Achieve together supports people who have profound and multiple learning disabilities on a daily basis.

People Who Have Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities’ Needs

A profound and multiple learning disability is a severe disability that significantly affects a person’s ability to communicate and be independent. They may experience difficulty seeing, hearing, speaking or moving. Many people who have a profound and multiple learning disability have more than one of these disabilities.

They may need support with:

Physical disabilities.
Complex health issues like epilepsy.
Respiratory problems.
Sensory impairments or sensory processing differences.
Eating and drinking.

Achieve together provides comprehensive support in each of these areas.

Excellent Support for People With Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities

Supporting people who have profound and multiple learning disabilities requires continuous, skilled support. Achieve together’s support teams and practice leaders excel in this field, offering a high level of skill and experience.

Unique Support Structures

Achieve together has created support structures that enable people with profound and multiple learning disabilities to live fulfilling lives in their local community.

These support structures are unique to the learning disability sector. They have made it possible for over 300 people to live in Achieve together care homes or supported living developments.

Achieve together care homes and supported living developments offer adapted living environments. These environments allow people to live an ordinary life of the best possible quality. The environments feature specialist bath/shower rooms, sensory rooms, and overhead hoisting.

Additional Support Measures

Achieve together also integrates the following into its comprehensive support offerings:

An enhanced GP service in specific locations. In these locations, a nearby GP works with each person Achieve together supports to gain a thorough understanding of their needs. With this understanding, the GP can offer swift medical advice and support.
A Nurse-Led Health Promotion Team. This health promotion team collaborates with support teams to develop outstanding clinical training and competency assessments.
High and Lo technology aids. Assistive technology suppliers tailor technology opportunities for individuals based on their needs. These technology opportunities assist health monitoring, support individuals with communication and allow these people to have more control over their environments.
24-hour postural care plans. Achieve together works with its Physiotherapy Consultant and local physiotherapy team to meet each person’s postural needs throughout the day and night.
Connections with local health and therapy teams. Achieve together has developed strong connections with speech and language therapists, specialist nurses, occupational therapists, dieticians, and physiotherapists. These professionals assist with the organisation’s therapy programmes.

Meeting Individual Needs

Achieve together helped develop the National Core and Essential PMLD Service Standards. The organisation’s teams work to these standards to ensure continuous high-quality support.

For example, the specialist Health and Wellbeing Team collaborates with Achieve together’s operational management and support teams to proactively meet each person’s complex communication, healthcare, and postural care needs. They also work to meet everyone’s social, emotional and relationship needs.

Working With Families

Achieve together also works with the families of those the organisation supports to promote each person’s wellbeing. Team members work with families to make key decisions in line with Achieve together’s Best Interest process.

This person-centred framework ensures all decisions made focus on achieving the best possible outcome for each aspect of a person’s life, including their relationships.

Campaign 4 Change

People Achieve together support who have profound and multiple learning disabilities are active members of Campaign 4 Change. This self-advocacy group promotes and encourages the inclusion of people who have these disabilities. As members of the group, those who have profound and multiple learning disabilities are visible and involved in the group’s work.

For example, individuals that Achieve together support got involved in two national Learning Disability England conferences. At these conferences, they emphasised the need for more inclusion for people who have profound and multiple learning disabilities.

Achieve together Care Homes and Other Support for People With Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities

Achieve together offers four support services for people who have profound and multiple learning disabilities.

1. Residential Homes

Achieve together care homes offer residential support in personalised, safe, fun environments. Dedicated teams follow the organisation’s Person-Centred Active Support approach to guide adults as they develop their communication, social and life skills.

This way, people Achieve together support can improve their independence and potentially pursue education and employment opportunities.

Achieve together adapts its residential homes to meet individuals’ specific needs. These individuals may need support with autism, sensory needs, physical disabilities, limited mobility, and complex healthcare conditions. Solutions may include assistive technology, specialist equipment and communication aids.

Many individuals who live in Achieve together care homes go on to enjoy greater independence in the organisation’s supported living developments.

2. Supported Living

Achieve together’s specialist-supported living homes offer tailored support packages to people who have a range of complex needs and disabilities. These support packages enable people to live independent lifestyles and access education and employment. They enjoy choice, control, and independence in their supported-living homes.

Achieve together works with housing providers to offer shared houses, studio flats and self-contained flats that meet each person’s needs and preferences. The organisation adapts these homes to meet individuals’ sensory and physical needs where necessary.

Specialist teams, including Tenant Liaison Officers, help people Achieve together support to manage their own tenancies.

3. Outreach And Home Support

Achieve together’s outreach and home support enable people who have profound and multiple learning disabilities to live as independently as possible in their home, family home or community.

Individuals can receive as much or as little outreach support as they need. Some individuals may only need one hour of support a day. Others may need round-the-clock support and benefit from sleep-in or waking night team members.

Individuals can choose the support they’d like and receive this support at times that suit them. This support may include help with:

Personal care.
Daily living and independence.
Setting appointments.
Medication and sustenance (including PEG feeding).
Finances and budgeting.
Accessing education and employment.
Health, fitness, social and leisure activities.
Cultural or religious needs.

Achieve together helps individuals recruit their support teams. The organisation can get involved at all stages of the recruitment process, from advertising and interviewing to covering all the paperwork. Every team member receives thorough training to ensure they can meet the individual’s specific needs.

Achieve together also ensures that, wherever possible, the same team supports the same people to ensure continuity.

4. Day Services

Achieve together employs its person-centred approaches in its day services. These services support individuals to help them become active, contributing members of their local communities.

The organisation delivers its day services for both individuals and groups. These flexible services vary in type, level, and duration. While some run for a couple of hours a week, others offer intensive daily support.

Achieve together’s day services are ideal for those who want to access their local communities from their own homes or their family’s or carer’s home.

Awards For Supporting People Who Have Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities

In 2021, Achieve together’s Nurse-Led Team won the “Nursing in Social Care” Nursing Times award for its high level of support for people who have profound and multiple learning disabilities.

In 2023, the Health Investor Awards then selected Achieve together as a finalist for the “Complex Care Provider of the Year” award.

Learn more about Achieve together’s support for people who have profound and multiple learning disabilities.

About Achieve together

Achieve together has offered leading specialist support for people who have learning disabilities, autism and associated complex and/or mental health needs for 25 years. Supporting over 2,300 adults, Achieve together guides people on their paths to living independent, happy, healthy lives.

The organisation’s ever-growing teams uphold this high level of support for people across England and Wales. More than 6,000 compassionate team members currently work with Achieve together, developing strong relationships with each person the organisation supports.

With Achieve together’s support, these individuals develop the skills they need to maintain healthy relationships and a fulfilling lifestyle. They enjoy boosted confidence, self-esteem, and independence, leading them to reach their potential and achieve personal life goals.