“Hi, my name is Beverley Barber and I am the Manager of Hertfordshire County council’s Rickmansworth Day Service (Shepherd Centre) which provides services for up to 80 adults with learning disabilities.
People from, in and around South west Hertfordshire, some who have profound physical and/or sensory disabilities or who are potentially independent attend the centre between one and five days a week. The centre is open Monday to Thursday between 8.30am to 4.30pm, Friday 8.30am to 4pm. We are closed Bank holidays.
We build on peoples abilities and enable them to make more choices and to develop their skills. We do this within a safe, caring and supportive environment and in a way that gives encouragement, build self- confidence, skills and each person is treated with dignity and respect. Our aim is to improve the quality of life for everyone that uses our centre and its services.
People have different needs so the service we provide is tailored to the individual. We have many opportunities on offer including building social skills, participating in leisure activities and promoting independence & inclusion. We also provide travel training, where service users are supported in accessing public transport. The centre staff run activities including arts and crafts, cooking, sewing, dance, knitting, drama and current affairs.
Our Outreach service users go out into the community where they take part in swimming, football and bowling. Some of our service users from Outreach volunteer in the Cafe in the park (Aquadrome) as well as the local community hall, which has been very successful. Service users have grown in confidence, are more fulfilled and are fully integrated within their local community.
We work using a person centred approach at all time. We ensure that all our Service users get the same opportunities, choices and independence. Service users access training through other organisations.
We have a Coffee Morning the first Friday of every month and Luncheon Club every three months where family, friends & carers come and join in with the staff and service users. A Summer fete is held annually to raise funds for the centre.
I along with Caroline Fisher (Senior Support Worker) hold a carers forum every three months at the centre. This is held in the evening so that working parents can attend and see what service users and staff are doing. We have strong links with the residential homes and work together in conjunction with carers and families. Service users also have the opportunity to choose outing they’d like to go on.”