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Carer or kindred spirit? How Miles is helping Dan on his road to recovery

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2,500+ reviews
Posted on 7th August 2017.
Miles with our customer Dan

Miles (right) with customer Dan

A sport-obsessed, guitar-playing skateboarder may not be your usual idea of a carer. But Miles, one of the founding carers in the Helping Hands Wimbledon branch, is just that.

After some wonderful feedback about the difference he’s making in his community, Miles has become this summer’s champion carer for ‘Excellence Every Time’. We caught up with his manager and the family of the customer he’s supporting to find out more.

What Miles’s manager says

“From the moment I met Miles at interview, I knew there was something special about him,” said Rebecca Terrell, Miles’s Branch Manager in Wimbledon.”He’s a young man really wanting to make a difference and he has really proved I was right over the last seven months.”

On weekdays, Miles visits Dan, a young adult who was left with a neurological condition following an awful accident and lost his communication skills and his level of understanding. “Prior to his accident, he was a sporty PE teacher,” said Rebecca. “As soon as I met him and his mother, I knew Miles was the perfect match. Both are sport obsessed, guitar-playing skateboarders who have great personalities and over the months Miles has been visiting, they have become more like friends.

“They attend a rehabilitation course together four days a week and then have a free day once a week. Miles has constantly come up with exciting plans for them to do on their free days, which allows Dan to get back to activities he loves, such as golf, swimming and going to the gym. They also go out and about in the local area, enabling him to get ‘back to normal’ and relearn skills such as using the bus and handling money.

“Miles has gone over and above getting to know his customer,” she added. “He even participated in a charity walk with Dan on his day off and they have been practising texting and FaceTime, which are again skills Dan lost following his accident.

“But the biggest achievement of all is that Dan is nearing the end of his rehabilitation course at the hospital and will be going back to work,” said Rebecca. “He has come on such a long way since I met him – back then, this seemed like a very distant goal. Miles will be accompanying him to the school where he works five days a week and they will be assisting the Head of PE. This is such an amazing outcome, considering when we met Dan in early January his level of communication, mobility and understanding were so severely affected.”

What Miles’s customers say

“Dan was discharged from St Georges in December last year after spending seven months in hospital,” said Dan’s family. “As a result of his accident, Dan was walking gingerly and spoke only a few words.

“Miles became his support worker in January. He exuded warmth and friendliness from the very first meeting and struck up a sound relationship with Dan within the first few days. They quickly found common ground and Miles showed remarkable calmness under pressure when Dan struggled to cope with the frustrations associated with aphasia.

“Miles always has a smile on his face and demonstrates a positive approach to the challenges of the day,” they added. “He often acted as Dan’s spokesman and we were indeed very grateful that Miles was proficient in dealing with the various obstacles that Dan would face on a daily basis. Trying to manage Dan’s affairs from Devon was quite challenging but Miles gave us regular feedback through text and email, attended numerous appointments at the surgery and hospitals and kept Dan’s daily diary up-to-date.

“Dan and Miles have become good friends. Miles has tried to give Dan a few tips on healthy eating while Dan has shown Miles how to swing a golf club!

“We have all got to know Miles very well and he can be proud of the key role he played and continues to play in Dan’s on going recovery. We thank you Miles for all your excellent support.”

A new carer champion at Helping Hands

We managed to surprise Miles last week on one of his days out with Dan and awarded him with the Helping Hands award for Excellence Every Time. The rapport and bond between the two was obvious: a very special partnership built on trust, respect, common interests and goals.

Well done, Miles. And on behalf of everybody at Helping Hands – a very big thank you.

Are you interested in becoming a carer?

We’re looking for enthusiastic, compassionate, and hardworking people, just like Miles. Visit our careers page or give our recruitment team a call today on 0808 274 7734.

Learn more about our support for younger adults, available throughout England and Wales. We place extra care and attention on matching our customers with a fully trained support worker who shares the same interests.

Sally Tomkotowicz