Transition Talks – former students share their stories of life after Treloar’s
Former students take time out to offer advice and tips for College students preparing to leave
As part of a number of things planned to support our current students to think about transition, our transition team organized a Zoom event with former Treloar’s students inviting them to share their tops tips and advice for students preparing to leave, and make the transition towards the next stage in their lives.
Adam left in 2010. His plan was to move back to the South to be near his family, to give him the confidence to do the things he wanted to do.
He warned that it can be difficult to make the transition from a place where everything is there on site for you. You need to be ‘independently minded’ to be prepared to entertain yourself. You need to be ‘proactive about finding activities to do’. He used all his initiative and all the skills he had learned at Treloar’s to get his own flat, with support from social services and his local authority. In 2014 he found his own flat and set up his own business.
His advice for our students today was ‘make the most of all the facilities, the staff and expertise available at Treloar’s. Treloar’s is a unique place. Please, please, please, make full use of the services on offer’.
He ensured that his Leaver’s Pack included all the appropriate information (OT reports, Physio therapist’s reports, eating and drinking profiles) that his new carers would need to learn about his daily routines and what level of support and assistance he needed. Some advice he shared was that he wished he had made more use of the physio support on offer at Treloar’s, as it has been much harder to access since leaving Treloar’s. He recommended making contact with your local physio teams in advance and asking them to meet with your Treloar’s physio so they can pass on their programme.
‘Focus on building those connections with your friends, so when you leave you can compare notes, be there for one another, support each other. You will be nervous about leaving, but embrace the nerves and turn it into a positive’
Our current students had the chance to ask questions and Adam was keen to share his advice. There’s no such thing as a perfect life, you have to graft, work for it, put in the effort’. Lots of people thought he wouldn’t survive the first year in his flat, but he thanked all those people who doubted him, as he said it made him stronger and more determined to prove them wrong.
Adam used the agency Live You founded by another former student Daniel Reed to find his team of two personal assistants. His advice was to make sure you can feel a bond or connection building with your PAs.
Adam is now a DJ, and has performed in London, Brighton and Essex, he has recently been signed by Vandit Recordings. He’s booked his first festival in Kent this August, and is a resident DJ on two radio stations. He also generously offered to come back to Treloar’s and DJ at a music event in the summer.
His drive and determination will be real inspiration for our students.
Nina left in 2019. She is currently in her second year at Keele University studying Counselling and Psychology. She was super excited and a little nervous about getting a place in her first choice of university.
Treloar’s recommended Ask Jules, the care agency who provide her 2 PAs. They live in university accommodation next door and work a one week on, one week off rota. There is a co-ordinator who manages the rota, time off, arranges cover and resolves any issues she might have with her PAs. Ask Jules have been really helpful with providing study support too, their co-ordinator has resolved any issues.
Nina recommended writing down exactly what your care needs are before you leave, so that you can explain clearly to new PAs how to deliver your care in the way that you want it. For example, she likes her PA to sit with her in lectures because of her visual impairment. Ask Jules will use your care plan to write the advert for your PA and will support you to shortlist applications. There is a six week probation period, which gives you options if the arrangement doesn’t work out. Nina’s PAs visited her at home before she started university.
Nina lives with five other students in university accommodation. They have a communal kitchen, socialise together and go out to the student union. Next year she’s hoping to become a residential adviser, a volunteering role to support students.
Her advice for our students was to ‘make the most of every opportunity at Treloar’s, as you might not be able to access the services so easily when you leave. You might not feel like it at the time, but it is good for you!’
Nina misses her friends from Treloar College, but she’ll be attending a reunion in the next few weeks. She lives about half an hour away from her family, and visits for Sunday lunch every so often. When she leaves university, she’s hoping to get some experience with Mental Health organisations and move towards paid employment.
The progress and transition team and multi disciplinary teams at Treloar’s work hard to support every student to achieve their personal goals. All college students have a weekly transition session as part of their timetable with a focus on what students wish to achieve beyond education. Our multi disciplinary teams support students through a range of different approaches including work experience, supported internships, skills for independence, person centred plans and much more, they create opportunities for every student. The transition event was a wonderful opportunity for our current students to learn from our former students, who generously shared their own experiences and advice for how to prepare for the next stage in life’s journey.