Find out more about Nightingale House

Some parents have asked “what should I expect from my son/daughter’s stay at Nightingale House?” Here is a little insight…

Nightingale House is our newest residential home for 18-25 year old’s with complex disabilities or acquired brain injury. We offer any length of residence; whether that be utilising the short break services or longer term accommodation. We designed Nightingale House to be a fantastic opportunity for teenagers and young adults to live in surroundings that fit in with their age and stage of development. By embracing new technologies, the facility itself is designed to give the best level of care, but our team go beyond that by personalising fun activities and developing strong bonds with those in their care through tactile play.

When we first meet young people who will stay with us, there is an initial assessment by sitting down with them and their families and seeing what they like to do. Then once our key workers get to know them when they stay and learn little nuggets of information, we use those to further build upon the support and activities we offer them.

We see the value in creating memories and participating in activities that our residents love. We have the capacity to ensure that their physical needs are met. Exploring hobbies that they are passionate about can be an incredible way to break down any barriers with that person. By earning trust and creating a fun environment, you can de-escalate any behaviour which may challenge and build a great relationship with them. Providing positive, unforgettable experiences can encourage communication and allows the opportunity to open up. For example, one of our residents adores horses, so we took them horse riding. Seemingly insignificant events can make a profound difference to an individual and transform the way they interact and ultimately, increase happiness. That in itself is extremely important to their quality of life and well-being.

Some examples of trips this year include holidays to Blackpool, days out at a safari park and travelling down to Essex to see family. Nightingale House is centrally based, so the young people have access to the local facilities in the evenings and weekends, such as cinema, ten-pin bowling, nail salons, local parks, etc. July was a big month for us for birthdays, so the individuals had BBQ parties shared with friends from school. We played games and hired bouncy castles. They absolutely loved it.

Another thing we enjoy doing is creating a ‘life-story box’ with the people in our care. As they move from children’s services to adult’s services, it can move along their journey with them. It provides something invaluable that they can keep, treasure, and look back on fondly.

The quality of support we can provide for each and every individual we look after is paramount. A huge factor of this is daily activity and we are always questioning what we can do to improve lives. We’d love to discuss how we can tailor experiences for your son or daughter, be that at Nightingale House, in your home or in the community, so we’d love to hear from you.

Please call us today on 01332 343 882 and arrange a time to pop in for a coffee and a chat.

New opportunities with Progress

Thanks to the continual growth of our organisation and our latest residential development, Stourbridge House, we have the fantastic opportunity to welcome new faces to the Progress team.

As an organisation who invest heavily in our employees and encourage them to grow in all aspects they can, we always offer vacancies to the current team, before advertising to the outside world.

We are pleased to announce having completed our internal recruitment, not only are we looking for individuals to join our residential team at Stourbridge House, but we will also need to fill the vacancies left by our team, thanks to our exciting restructure.

For those of you who missed our announcement, Stourbridge House is our most recent property. It is a three-storey, beautifully designed building, fully equipped with ingenuitive technology, purpose built for children and young adults to accommodate short breaks and assist in their transition to independence.

Thanks to the variety of roles available, we have an opportunity for people of all abilities. The Support Worker and Team Leader roles are ideal for candidates with experience working alongside individuals with additional care requirements. Our Flexible Support Worker roles (FSW) have a different prerequisite.

The FSW works alongside children and young adults with additional complex care needs, whether that be working out in the community or within our properties. As an entry level into care, the Flexible Support Workers role requires more heart than it does time spent in the industry. Experience can be helpful, references are necessary. It’s not for everybody. It takes a special type of personality; someone who really wants to make a difference. That is the person we are looking for.

It is not easy to tell these qualities from a piece of paper. Neither does someone’s background influence our decision. Our current Flexible Support Workers come from a variety of backgrounds. Teaching, fitness, hospitality are just some of our teams’ experience. Some even joined us straight from university without having any work experience but had sterling character references.

The role of Flexible Support Worker could take the applicant to a mixture of locations; our facilities, the person in care’s home, working out in the community or out on activities. The Flexible Support Worker will be buddy, mentor and care giver for people with complex care needs. The role is perfect to give people the opportunity to work with young people. The days can be challenging, but they are also incredibly rewarding.

We are looking for candidates with a deep-rooted desire to make a difference. We want people whom we can rely upon equally to accurately document and report while having the patience to sit and enthusiastically play the same game of hide and seek for hours on end. Can you relate?

If you feel you have the passion it takes to join our fun, dedicated team and enhance the lives of young people, get in touch. To find out more about our vacancies, click here

Priceless moments – E’s story

In August 2016, 17-year-old E first joined us in one of our residential homes. She has Dandy-Walker Syndrome, a malformation that affects brain development, primarily of the cerebellum; the part of the brain that coordinates movement.

We have been so blown away with the incredible transformation she has undertaken with the support of our team over the year, so we wanted to share her story.

E is just one of the many residents we have been proud to support to improve their quality of life. We knew she had the potential to develop and achieve with our team working with her collaboratively and intensely and with the further support of her external professionals.

In the beginning she would stay awake for days, refusing to get out of her wheelchair. When she did go to sleep, it would be in her chair for small periods of time at random hours. Recognising that a decent night’s rest is a hugely important factor to general mood and well-being, her sleep patterns were one of our first focus points. She didn’t want to be up high on a regular bed, so we began with a mattress on the floor which was a satisfactory compromise. Once we’d overcome the resistance to staying in bed as opposed to her wheelchair, we built up a routine so she would wake up at the right times and not spend the day asleep. In a short space of time, she decided she felt comfortable enough to move into a bed rather than a mattress on the floor. We swapped her single for a double which she loves.

E is a fantastic young lady who has come so far. When she first moved in, it took around two hours to get from the house into the car and now she’ll happily tell you if she wants to go out and does so without much fuss. She now communicates effectively and calmly with the team and tells us when she’d like help, or if she is hungry, tired, or thirsty, which was not possible at the beginning. As well as better interaction with the staff she also spends a lot more time playing with other residents.

Although her GP is local, E is funded through a different Local Authority which caused some initial complications but our perseverance ensured we got what she needs.

Perseverance has been consistent throughout the last year, we’ve been able to make some fantastic changes with lots of little successes along her journey. E’s significant achievement has been her starting to walk. When she arrived, she spent most of her time in her wheelchair. She progressed over time to standing more and more frequently and eventually, with the help of a walking frame, she managed to move around independently. She now attends school full time without support. It was an emotional day for us when mum came to visit and E walked to the door with support staff to meet her. The expression on her mum’s face was priceless.

It is personal journeys like this we strive towards for all our residents along with those we support at home and in the community. If you’d like to know more about what we do, please get in touch today.

Fostering Options

Many people consider fostering, but taking the plunge and committing comes with many worries and concerns. You are taking a leap of faith into the unknown, where children are placed in family homes at short notice with rare opportunities to get to know the child before they arrive at your front door.

At Progress, we can do things differently! Our focus is on ensuring children are in the most appropriate placement and we offer a wide range of services for children. We do not rely on traditional referrals which tend to be for same day, emergency placements. This means we can work with our Foster Carers to build relationships with children and young people before they are placed.

We can give Foster Carers an opportunity to be a part of a plan for child, we do this through dual-track planning for children.

The first of these opportunities are to work with our residential teams where children are looking to move into foster care. We identify a child that might be suitable and discuss their needs in depth and look at what it means to care for them. If the Carer thinks they might be able to offer a placement, we arrange for them to go and see the child, meet them and see how they get on, and observe the child in placement. If the Carer wishes to progress, we look at what training would be needed and they have an opportunity to go and work with the child in the home; to build on the relationship and ensure they feel confident that the placement would be successful.

The plans for each child are bespoke, so we take it slowly, plan with the Local Authority and ensure that everything is in place, the Carer is confident and that the child wants the move. This gives the greatest chance of success.

Once the child moves into the foster home, the staff from the residential service continue to provide support to the Carers, be that face to face, or phone support. This enables young people to maintain relationships and gives Carers unrivalled support from people with hands on practical experience of the child.

When placements are made in this way, there is a high chance of a long-term permanent placement being agreed by the Local Authority. This gives Carers the stability and reassurance of long-term financial support, reducing the risks to the stability of their home life and reducing the uncertainty that can come with short-term foster placements.

We also work with children and families through our short breaks service and our community based support service. Our Foster Carers can become part of the support network for a family, offering short breaks where a child might stay with the Foster Carers for a couple of nights per month or as a shared care arrangement; where a child might stay with you for a few days a week, on an on-going basis. This work is extremely rewarding and Carers get a real chance to help families keep it together and build supportive and trusting relationships with birth families.

To talk to one of our Social Workers about any of these options, please get in touch with our fostering team today.

You can call our head office on 01902 561066 between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday or if you would like someone to call you back you can send your details to us via the enquiry form below or by emailing

Ingenuitive Technology; Helping Residents Sleep Soundly

The development of our new residential short breaks and transitions to independence service in Wolverhampton, has provided an excellent opportunity for us to integrate systems to improve the level of care we offer. One of the features we are excited to unveil is the acoustic monitoring technology we are installing. This equipment is only currently being utilised in adult services but we are proud to be the first business in the UK to include this innovative and life changing technology in our offer for young people.

The equipment listens out for concerning sounds and triggers an alert to the relevant bodies, replacing the standard practice of periodic manual observations; where staff hourly visit resident’s bedrooms. This manual process is not only disruptive but also impractical. If an incident were to take place in-between hourly checks, staff may be unaware.

By measuring a baseline noise level in the individual rooms, the technology can detect when a sound exceeds the tailored threshold. This could be an excessive cough or a seizure that would otherwise go undetected. Knowing in real-time when there is a problem as well as preemptive alerts allows us to work proactively. With the reliability of the discrete monitoring system, residents will have a better quality of life with the dignity and respect they deserve — with staff notified when assistance is necessary — the residents are left in peace for an uninterrupted night’s sleep.

To integrate this revolutionary technology, we partnered with Adaptive IT, CLB’s 2017 reseller of the year and below is a statement from them.

“Working with Progress has been a fantastic experience. They were easy to talk to and had a clear vision of what they wanted to achieve. They challenged us (in a good way) by questioning each aspect of our solution, they really had their residents at the heart of all of their decisions.

We have been working within the public health sector (NHS) for many years mainly dealing with estates and IT departments. The move into private care has brought us closer to the front lines of care and we really appreciate the work these organisations do. It is a pleasure to be able to provide a level of support to those who are directly influencing these young people’s lives in such a positive way.

Progress has taken a leap forward for young people’s services in the UK by implementing acoustic monitoring. It is crucial for these young people to feel supported but independent at the same time. Using the acoustic monitoring technology allows them to gain confidence in themselves and their independence in a safe and supported way, by reducing unnecessary care interventions which could potentially undermine feelings of individual achievement.”

Want to know more about any of our support services in the Black Country or beyond?
Please contact us now.