A new lease of life for Philip thanks to Enable NI

Thursday, 23 March 2017

A new lease of life for Philip thanks to Enable NI thumbnailPhilip Menary

A Markethill mum has spoken of the fear she felt when her son approached school-leaving age.

Phillip Menary has a learning disability, other health issues and limited verbal communication and there were few opportunities available to him, however his mum Barbara was not prepared to send him anywhere he was not happy.

“It was a bit of a concern for us when the time came for Phillip to leave school," explained Barbara.

“Because of his complex needs I would have been offered daily respite in a day care centre. I went along to take a look at it and straight away said it wasn't for him. Phillip loves the outdoors and I wouldn't send him somewhere he wasn't happy.

“We spent most of the summer weighing up our options and doing research and it got to one point I actually thought I would have to set up something myself because there was nothing that suited Phillip's needs."

Whilst at school Phillip had attended a weekly youth club which was run by Enable NI and having spoken to a member of staff, Barbara discovered they could provide her son with the opportunities and help he required.

“Phillip went to Enable's youth club for roughly three years and when I spoke to Jason, one of the project's co-ordinators, he was able to advise me and Enable were able to provide Phillip with an individual service which would also allow him to participate in group outings."

The five-year We Are IncredABLE project, has received 551,179 thanks to the Big Lottery Fund's Empowering Young people grant, enabling it to provide opportunities for young people with learning disabilities who are leaving or about to leave school in the 18-25 age group.

The project gives young people the time to develop friendships, improve confidence, increase independence and learn daily living skills at a pace that is right for them.

These new skills will support them to take a more active role at home and be better prepared for moving on in their life. The project will also benefit families, parents and carers with improved relationships and increased breaks from caring.

“Enable NI have been fantastic," added Barbara. "They are totally clued in to everything Phillip needs, they have lots of staff and plenty of backup. They are able to offer children like Phillip good care and a quality of life."

Phillip who was 20 years old in March joined the project in September 2016 and hasn't looked back since.

“He loves every day," explained his Mum. "He comes home and tells you everything he's been doing and where he has been. He looks forward to the next day because he knows he is going to do something he enjoys and he is so much happier.

“He is growing as a person and that is what I wanted for him. I wanted him to meet different people and experience different activities and I can only hope it continues.

“Phillip still has a lot of growing and learning to do as a person and I hope that Enable will continue to provide him with opportunities.

“Enable NI have been a god-send for us. Phillip is happy and he has structure in his life and that in turn helps to make life easier at home for us."


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