True Colours to help fill day centre gap if social care changes approved

Adam Renshaw, Steve Mannion from Home Safari and day worker Chris Goode at a safari session

Adam Renshaw, Steve Mannion from Home Safari and day worker Chris Goode at a safari session

First published in North West

COMMUNITY groups could play a large role in the proposed transformation of adult social care in the borough.

Under the changes, Wigan Council will look at moving care from day centres – meaning two will potentially be closed if the plans are approved - into the community.

One organisation which offers an alternative to day centres is True Colours CIC, a specialist centre for adults with autism on Bengal Street in Leigh.

Managing director Michelle Campbell said: “We have very diverse learners. We have people who have the ability to one day not need our service and what we want to do is skill them up in such a way that they won’t need us.

“We hope to find some quality and valued roles within the community for them.”

Running the service is made possible by people choosing to pay for sessions from the personal budgets that are allocated to them from the council’s budget.

Some of the latest sessions have included lessons on the world wars, graffiti art classes and three of the enterprising service users are setting up a dating agency.

“We have people here who used to be council-run services but I can’t explain the difference we see when they come here and I think that is because the groups are smaller and we can give more one to one time,” Michelle said.

“One of the guys, Adam Renshaw, has flourished since he came here and now reads to some of the other users, he has won awards and he participates in the community. He is so valued by all around him now.”

“We have people here who have higher support needs and we have health professionals who tell us that because we can be more specific that certain behaviours have really reduced and they are learning more skills, becoming more independent and their home life is improving.

“It is a pleasure to work here.

“If we weren’t here I am not sure people would be able to stay at home. A lot of people with higher needs it is extremely difficult for their parents to support them 24/7 and I don’t think they would be able to cope without True Colours or some other service.”

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