Rachelle’s Story

Meet globetrotting Rachelle

Forty-eight-year-old Rachelle has a passion for travel. With Norwood’s support, she’s gradually working her way around the world and through the long list of places she wants to visit, taking in the sights from France to Florida, USA – and many countries in between. “I just love travelling,” she says. “Every year I go on holiday to a new country I’ve not been to before. I feel so happy that I’ve been to so many.”

A resident of one of Norwood’s accommodation services in London, Rachelle is supported to lead an independent life.

She moved into her Hendon home in September 2000, having lived with her parents until then. The move was not an easy transition for Rachelle or her parents but they recognised that they were getting too old to support their daughter’s needs. No longer able to drive Rachelle to see her friends, they realised she was spending too much time on her own at home.

What’s more, she had not developed the life skills needed for daily living.

Thanks to the support, patience and understanding of staff in her home, Rachelle has learnt to prepare meals, drinks and various snacks; keep her room tidy; wash, iron and put away her own clothes; and carry out her own personal care. She is also able to communicate in different ways and has been empowered to express herself, having taken part in Great Interactions, a programme that encompasses everything that staff need to know to understand the communication and interaction preferences of the people we support.

Since undertaking travel training, Rachelle is now able to explore her local area safely and whenever she wants. Being able to travel independently means she can get together with her friends and pursue all the activities she loves, including jewellery making and gardening. She knows that gardening keeps her fit and healthy and that her jewellery-making skills could see her one day starting her own business.

Over the years, Norwood has supported Rachelle to achieve things she’d once never have thought possible.

This includes receiving a certificate in catering for completing work experience as a kitchen assistant; being a valuable team member in one of our charity shops, where she worked part-time; producing and selling high-quality jewellery; teaching Makaton to others; and participating in Norwood walking, cycling and bowling challenges. She even took to the catwalk in a fashion show, modelling clothes from a local boutique in Edgware, at one of Norwood’s fundraising events.

However, when you ask Rachelle what her greatest achievement is, she replies that it’s her admin job, which she’s been doing for more than ten years. “I do filing, photocopying and computer work,” she says, proudly adding: “And I get paid.” This is one woman who’s going places – literally and metaphorically.

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