Tommy is one of the many young people who regularly joins us at Cherry Trees for tea-time visits and after school activities.

Once he’s polished off Mexican Tachos (with quite a lot of ketchup), he loves breaking out into our gardens and getting a game of football going with care worker Kamal and some of the other children here. It’s a chance for him to run around and be a young person whilst the rest of his family can have some of their own down time back at home.

Tommy has his own behavioural challenges and habits which mean a little respite care goes a long way for the whole family. They were told he has ADHD and Autism, and that has given us some challenges to work around with behaviours and habits.

At tea-times we have been working to help improve Tommy’s level of noise – encouraging a drop down from pitch-style-referee yelling to more of an ‘in-door’ voice as well as coaxing him away from addictive ipod habits.

Through time spent here, with lots of other very different children and young people he has been able to improve his social skills, enhancing his ability to mix and play fairly with other people and has joined in with craft making sessions in our art- room, proudly taking home his own pieces to show family.

Tommy has a manner which makes all our care staff laugh, challenging them to praise his carefully put together stylish ensembles, testing their knowledge on the world at large and cracking jokes. Tea-time visits may have a new joker in the house, but someone who is also quickly developing and responding to our responsible one to one care.