Matthew is 21, and has cerebral palsy and spina bifida. He currently visits our adults’ day opportunity service Barnabas five days a week and enjoys attending the lively and sociable hub so he can access a range of opportunities, make new friends and learn new skills.
Matthew lives in Southbourne with his mum and dad, and loves visiting Barnabas as it gives him the opportunity to do exactly what he wants to do. Some days Matthew might play games and have a joke, use the computer to look at trains (which he loves), visits Holton Lee to spend time grooming the charity’s therapy Shetland pony or get on a bus with his support worker and visit Poole Park.
Helen, his regular one-to-one support worker said: “Matthew is such a lively and fun lad, and since starting at Barnabas his confidence has definitely improved. He enjoys being independent, loves to be affectionate and also causing chaos at Barnabas! But we love him for that and it is never a dull moment when he is around.”
Before Barnabas, Matthew was supported at Langside, our charity school, and started there in January 1996. Joan, the school secretary, has fond memories of his time at the school and said: “He was an abundance of fun and always made us smile. Some of the most memorable times were when he used to recite ‘Peace At Last’ from start to finish and also when he asked the staff to sit on big bouncy balls and then laughed so loud when they fell off!”