For the past 20 years, John McCarthy and Gerwyn Roberts have been attending Gwynedd Council’s Arfon Community link day service and although both of them have severe learning disabilities, this hasn’t stopped them from achieving their wishes and goals.
Having received the right kind of positive behaviour support, they have shown that they can achieve anything. As part of the Arfon Community link day service, both John and Gerwyn collect food donations on a weekly basis from Tesco in Caernarfon and then take the food to the local food bank.
Councillor Gareth Roberts, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member for Care said: “By doing a job they enjoy it shows a positive example that anyone can work and help within their own communities, through the values by which we all live and work.
“The benefits are important for people with learning disabilities to be in their communities working like everybody else, it can build their social networks confidence and self-esteem to believe in their own capabilities.”
John and Gerwyn were recently awarded a certificate for their achievement for their contribution towards the food bank from Councillor Gareth Roberts, and Gwenno Williams, the Arfon community link senior manager.
This is not the only job John and Gerwyn do at Arfon community link, they also work by collecting recycling materials locally, and also have a filled week of being supported to do things for themselves, to help them to feel more independent and good about themselves.
They enjoy things such as going out to buy their own lunch and preparing it, cleaning, gardening and housekeeping. They also keep healthy by going swimming and attending
rebound therapy at the Arfon Leisure Centre.
Andrew Guy from the Council’s Arfon Community Link Service added: “Having severe learning disabilities and significant communication difficulties meant that John and Gerwyn found it hard to be a part of the community which sometimes held back their development. With our staff using positive behavioural support, it has been wonderful to see them both improving their lives to the extent that they now have gained work experiences, and their communication skills have also improved significantly through being supported in their communities and meeting people.
“Our aim is to make sure we give the right support to the people who come to our service through a personalised, individual learning experience and that they play a social role within their communities. This helps to give every person the best possible future, which empowers everyone to reach their potential.