Alex, Aspens' Roebuck Centre

Alex has had an incredible journey that has resulted in him becoming a funny, creative member of the Roebuck family. Before joining Roebuck Alex attended college, where he achieved a Level 1 BTEC Diploma in Creative Media Studies. Unfortunately, the college couldn't offer him any further progression, which left him unhappy and he spent most of his time at home, reluctant to leave the house.  

In 2016, Alex joined the Roebuck centre where he initially attended Graphics and Animation sessions twice a week, exploring Adobe software and developing his skills on a computer modified to his needs. Over the years, he's tried areas including drama, in which he contributed ideas and demonstrated his comedic skills! He's also an aspiring author, currently working on a story with the working title of Truck. Alex is passionate about his work and is hoping in the future to adapt his story to a screenplay and possibly a film.

Alex has made great progress and continues to develop strategies to reduce anxiety. He's progressed in socialising and expressing his feelings to staff and understands about having conversations at appropriate times. Alex has shown great development and is a huge asset to Roebuck.

Katie, Aspens’ Day Services

Katie, 24, has enjoyed using Aspens’ Day Services for the last six years and feels that Aspens has had a very positive impact on her life. Throughout her life, Katie has coped with being selectively mute when she first meets people; she wants to speak, but doesn’t feel able to until she’s comfortable around them. This has had a big impact on her ability to live independently and to work.

Since she started visiting Aspens’ Day Services at Pembury, Katie’s confidence around new people has improved tremendously. Not only is she far more at ease with new people, but she’s now comfortable to the extent that she works in Aspens’ Bluebell Café, serving customers and working alongside co-workers behind the counter.

Katie credits Aspens with helping her to become more confident and independent and she’s currently preparing to move out of her parent’s house to supported living in the area. She has a boyfriend, who also lives in supported living, and a network of friends, and she’s enjoyed some amazing experiences, such as visiting the House of Commons to talk about “Books Beyond Words”.

Katie says:

“Going to Aspens has helped me to become more confident and make new friends. I really enjoy art in the Art Studio but most of all I love my job in the Aspens café! I get to meet people and earn money for myself, which is brilliant.”


Deiter Lee, Aspens' Positive Behaviour Support services

Deiter Lee has complex needs: he's on the autism spectrum, he has a learning difficulty and mental health needs. When he's not able to communicate with words to get his needs met, he'll sometimes use behaviour instead - so what looks like unruly, threatening behaviour is his way of saying ‘I can’t cope!'. In these situations he sometimes needs two team members to help keep him and those around him safe.

Deiter Lee and his team at Aspens have got to know each other really well. They've built a strong understanding of what his behaviours mean and Positive Behaviour Support helps to create a consistent, predictable approach to support him. For example, the team identified that incidents were most likely to occur when Deiter Lee wanted to leave a situation that he found difficult. They introduced red cards: when he wants an action to stop, such as physical contact, he reads from the red card and the situation can instantly be resolved, without conflict.

“Since the introduction of the Red Cards, Deiter Lee’s vocabulary has blossomed beyond recognition, which has measurably improved his well-being and reduced incidents of behaviour of concern. When we filmed Deiter Lee reading his cards and played it back to him, we could see his sense of pride at how clearly he was now able to convey his message."
 Dieter Lee's key worker at Aspens

Peter, Aspens Roebuck Centre

Peter is a quiet individual and a keen creative who attends the Roebuck centre twice week. He joined the Roebuck Centre in 2016 after studying Level 3 Art and Design at college, where he had to reduce his hours due to some struggles which left him feeling lonely and anxious. Peter adapted and has continued to explore other creative and social avenues.

Peter is a member of Roebuck's baking production team, creating delicious cakes to be sold to local cafes. He's shown outstanding progress and assists our baker, producing at least six cakes a week with minimal support. He excels at food hygiene and specialist skills like creaming, works professionally even when under pressure, and is comfortable working to deadlines. Peter uses his own initiative and will look for additional jobs to complete or assist others when he has completed his own work.

Peter is an incredible asset to the baking team as explained by Baker Kim Fisher: ‘Peter is a pleasure to work with, he is helpful, willing to learn and try new things, and he uses his initiative. He is a happy and cheerful member of the team’.

Since attending Roebuck, Peter has worked with staff to reduce anxiety and gain confidence. His communication and socialisation has improved, he frequently instigates conversations with staff and service users.

Peter’s Mum Vicky says: ‘I’m very grateful for the opportunities Peter has at Roebuck. He's treated as an individual, made great progress and it's been really beneficial for his self-esteem’.

Peter has developed enough to be able to inform staff when he has issues and concerns, and he's aiming to attend further social opportunities to further expand his friendship group. Peter is a great asset to the Roebuck community.  

Connor, Aspens Roebuck Centre

Connor is a happy and bright individual who joined the Roebuck Centre in 2016 and has developed strong relationships with his peers.

At Roebuck, he's part of the Ceramics and Catering team; with little experience, Connor has learnt creative techniques such as using press moulds, producing tiles and assembly skills. He helps to prepare lunch, working well in a team and showing continuous development. He's improved his food hygiene skills, regularly shows this in preparation of meals and displays awareness of safety in the kitchen. Connor continues to demonstrate great professionalism and acts on his own initiative by replenishing drinks throughout the day and putting out desserts without staff prompts. He's gained further independence by identifying the correct times and gathering materials needed to monitor his blood sugar levels and will inform staff of his reading; he's demonstrated fantastic progression with this.   

Since attending the Roebuck centre Connor’s communication and socialisation has come on in leaps and bounds. Whereas previously he could only identify what was causing him anxiety by using a ‘ yes, no, don’t know’ strip to answer questions, now, with prompts from staff, he explains how he's feeling and why. Connor has developed a friendship group and goes along to their social evening once a month - Connor enjoys socialising with them and always has a big smile on his face.

Connor’s mother says: ‘Connor’s confidence has increased dramatically; he really likes coming to work at the Roebuck Centre. He has made some lovely friendships’.   

Outside of the Roebuck Centre, Connor has further developed himself and his creativity has flourished: he's produced brilliant abstract paintings and gained a Silver Art Award which is equivalent to GCSE, and he's even planning an exhibition of his work. With support from a jobs coach he's started paid employment at Little Gate farm and has just received his first pay cheque.