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Shyane’s journey to independence

This week we are celebrating Shyane’s journey to independence. and how far she has come with the help of a brilliant support team at her Innovate Trust home.

They have grasped every opportunity to support her in all aspects of her day-to-day life and are blown away by how far she has come.

Moving in

Shyane moved to her supported living home last year and, for the first time, now lives with two new housemates of a similar age. This house in the Vale of Glamorgan has been set up with young people in mind, serving as a stepping stone into adult services and the transition into community life. 

There is lots of time and space to pursue interests while looking at more domestic skills and learning about everything that needs doing around the house. Shyane has approached it all with buckets of enthusiasm, embracing everything.

Born with a sight impairment, there are many extra things to consider moving into a new supported living home. At first, Shyane was understandably nervous, as she had to learn the layout of an entirely new property by touch to get her bearings and feel more confident moving around. Her housemates have always been very considerate of this from the start. 

They make sure they clear up after themselves and do not leave anything lying around that would get in Shyane’s way. All her house team worked with her to make sure they could support her in every way possible. Some days were admittedly harder than others, but once she got used to the house, she started to enjoy building her independence.

Kitchen confidence

One area with really impressive adaptations is the house kitchen. Together, they have ordered several helpful appliances, dispensers, and gadgets for people with sight impairments. Shyane was also supported to attend a Cooking & Baking course last year, which helped to improve her confidence in the kitchen. She learned all about healthy eating and some safe basic knife skills.

After repetitive hand-on-hand support, she has become very familiar with her new kitchen and worked hard to remember which cupboards contain what items. Shyane can now confidently walk into her kitchen and, with verbal prompts, can start preparing dinner when it is her turn to cook. When asked what her favourite meal is to cook, she was quick to tell us about her famous Mac & Cheese.

Embracing technology

Like many people we support, Shyane has also fully embraced technology in the house, taking full advantage of the SMART devices Innovate Trust has offered to all homes.

Shyane also uses the voice assist options on her phone to call her family whenever she wants to and loves to listen to audiobooks on her tablet.

One of the best things about moving into an Innovate Trust house is meeting so many new people and trying so many new things.

I use them [Amazon Echo] to do lots of things. I close the blinds and pull all the lights on for the house when it gets dark. I call my support team [through the device] when I need help in the morning or if I want someone to come and help me do my hair. I also listen to my favourite radio station, Capital Dance and ask what the weather will be like today.

Because of the number of gatherings and activities created by Innovate Trust departments, there have been ample opportunities to socialise, and Shy has taken full advantage! Alongside many of last summer’s BBQs and gatherings, she enjoys ‘Music With Steve’ and the Porthkerry Park Project, having a go at anything new and interesting to her.

She is a regular member of Vale People First and other organised groups in the Vale of Glamorgan, attending weekly social gatherings and craft sessions. Another of her favourite things is a good old pamper session and a nice glass of wine with her feet up on the weekend. Sounds perfect!


Shy had been nervous about swimming when the suggestion was first discussed. Over several sessions with her consistent, reassuring and supportive team around to help her, she has gained more confidence in the pool. She can now be in the water independently and is loving it. This is a considerable achievement, and everyone is so impressed. There are plans to continue to develop those skills, and Shy can not wait to get back in the water.

Looking forward

Shy has achieved so much in the past year. Moving out of the family nest is a big step in discovering who you are and what you can do in the world. We cannot wait to hear what you get up to in 2023, Shyane!

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