Grace’s story

Grace lives in Boxted with her mum, Anwen, who is a headteacher. The thirty-year-old is the youngest of the family and has a brother, Liam, and sister, Lauren. Anwen describes Grace as ‘happy and contented and someone who rarely complains’. Although she is non-verbal, she is very animated – clapping, smiling and making noises – and is very sociable.

“Two J’s Healthcare Assistants come to our house one weekend a month for four or five hours. They’re like aunties for Grace – she absolutely loves them! They give her a shower and do her hair for her and then they take her to the posh garden centre nearby for food or go to see the ducks in Dedham. Her face lights up when they arrive and she’s so happy that she forgets about me!

“Grace enjoys the social activities that are run by The J’s. She goes to the Inspire! social group that meets in Danbury and that is a very positive experience for her.

“She also goes to the Monday evening ‘TJI’ group which is held at St Helena Hospice in Colchester for two to three hours. It’s like a family for her there. She doesn’t normally relax and she can get quite stiff sitting in a wheelchair, so the massage and yoga that they provide there really helps.”

Grace has also had six weeks of music therapy at home. “She loves the one-to-one music sessions which always seem to have a calming effect on her.

“Grace absolutely loves her J’s carers and they take an interest in the whole family. They’re upbeat, positive, sensitive, caring and very professional and they’ve even helped me to organise training for Grace’s carers – what more could I want?”

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Published in 2019

Knowing that our J’s Nurse is there so I have an extra person with expertise as back-up in an emergency makes it easier for me to cope. I’ve got someone else to talk to now and I’m not alone.