As a family they were heavily involved in community sports and in wider community activities. Sarah and John adult children remain fully supportive of their decision as a family to foster. They view the children placed with them as being a part of the family and they are included in all family events and they love supporting their foster siblings in their all their activities. Sarah described fostering on a farm as being a huge advantage in supporting children who have had negative experiences in their lives.
StandUp Foundation | John’s story
The young people in placement are involved in selective age appropriate safe, farming activities and kept busy with simple tasks. All of the foster children placed with them have thrived in this environment. One of the children in particular them loves farming and wants to be a farmer when they grow up.
Sarah would describe their life as busy but the children benefit from having a simple, natural way or life without the distractions that urban life can have.
Sarah spoke of how all of the children placed with them have built loving and nurturing relationships with pet animals on the farm and are taught to handle and care for their pets. Living in a rural community has been a huge support to Sarah and John as foster carers. One child placed with them is a fantastic sports player and is heavily involved in hurling, football and soccer and is hugely successful. This young person has received a high level of support and mentoring from all his coaches to help manage the dynamics of playing as part of a team and without this support he would find it very difficult.
They have visited with Sarah and John and have always been a part of his life which Sarah and John support fully. Sarah added that the schools the children have attended have been excellent at supporting the foster children who have been placed with her. Although hard word and having a busy life with their family and farm Sarah said that she and John would fully recommend fostering. In my opinion their overall design and control systems would not be suitable to enable me to get out and about as I needed, walk the dog, or even comfortably get to the hospital for my physiotherapy.
Such powerchairs did not have the battery-life or ability to handle terrain such as sand or mud.
For example, if I took the dog to the beach I might be left stranded half-way back because of lack of range or power. The powerchairs on the market with their hard, skinny tyres gave me muscle spasms from the vibration and harshness. Because of my busy lifestyle, even the best powerchairs would last one year at the most. I was frustrated and felt that I could do better myself.
So, I decided to use my own engineering skills and knowledge to build my own customised powerchairs. I paid for all the parts and required machinery from my social care direct payment. However, last year it was arranged for me to apply for a personal health budget. An occupational therapist first assessed my powerchair requirements, based on what I have described above, and then we discussed the funds needed for such a powerchair, and the costs for it be maintained.
I was awarded a personal health budget, and in my care plan I recorded how I wanted to spend my budget on customising my own powerchairs, to achieve my health and mobility needs. I chose to receive the funds as a direct payment for health care into a separate bank account so I could build and maintain the powerchairs myself. I keep all the receipts. The personal health budget has enabled me to build one customised wheelchair, and start a second as a back-up. I source or make all the parts individually. One of my own powerchairs will last three years.
If I was to use the funds to buy an NHS-approved powerchair, it would need replacing after just one year through my heavy use! I need a powerchair that enables me to pursue my active life and reduces my muscle spasms.
xn--c1adm4ar4d.xn--p1ai/modules/jyh-open-mac.php Without the powerchairs that I have constructed using my personal health budget, I would not be able to live my life.
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