A man wearing a red t-shirt and cap heads towards a cafe bar on the beach in his wheelchair

Since Covid, his day centre lost its funding and Martin spent most days of the week sat at home watching TV

“I had a great day”

Once Covid hit the country, Martin went into lockdown with his housemates, like we all had to at this time.

Martin is a wheelchair user, and before Covid he would go to his day centre by accessible bus, enjoying the time spent socialising with friends and support staff.

But since Covid, his day centre lost its funding and Martin spent most days of the week sat at home watching TV and occasionally using his scooter to go into town to meet friends. He had not been out for a day trip, or holiday, outside of Horsham since before Covid.

He was bored, and he mentioned this to his support staff.

In January, a conversation took place with Martin about going out for a day trip and where he would like to go. He decided he would like to go to Littlehampton. He was very excited about this little adventure as he wanted to be able to take a ‘stroll’ along the beach.

A risk assessment was put in place for Martin to take the train to Littlehampton, a date was set, and travel assistance on the train was booked. He was all ready to go!

The journey on the train went smoothly and staff at the stations were most helpful, which made for a pleasant day.

A man sits in his wheelchair on a train platform

Once Martin arrived in Littlehampton, he had an amazing beef and ale pie for lunch at a lovely pub overlooking the river Arun, which he washed down with half a pint of Guinness!

A man sits in a pub garden with his lunch on his plate

After food was devoured, Martin headed on down to the seafront where he marvelled at that ‘stroll’ along the beach and enjoyed an iced coffee while watching the waves roll in on a gorgeously warm and sunny day!

A man wearing a red t-shirt sits outside a cafe on a bright day. His iced coffee is in front of him.

Before he knew it, it was time to head back home, but this did not at all wipe the smile from his face, he had an amazing day out!

He said, “I had a great day. There was lots of sunshine and I enjoyed being by the sea.”

Now Martin knows the world is his oyster, the next thing on his to-do list is a mini break away!

Southdown manages supported living services across Sussex. Supported living is where an individual owns or rents their own home and has control over how they live their life. Accommodation and support is provided separately. It can be very different for different people. For one person, supported living might be a few hours of support a week to enable them to live independently by themselves in a rented flat. For another it may be around the clock support in a shared house or self-contained flat.