thezachproject is in its new home and it is a great space! Zach has taken to it like a duck to water and seems very happy in his new surroundings.
John and I, with the help of some very kind friends got the keys on the last Thursday in February and painted every room, put in new kitchen units and made it Zach’s own ready for him to start using just 6 days later. I felt like we were on 60 minute makeover(except that it obviously took longer than an hour)!
We still have some jobs to do and changes to make but I am pretty pleased with how it is all looking and thrilled that he enjoying being there.
While we were still uncertain where we were going to go after we left Scott House we held an open morning at thezachproject. We invited along 0-25 professionals and County Councillors who had been kind enough to get on board with our search for a new hub.
Cormac and Mary from Beam ABA Services came along to meet our visitors and chat to them about what they were doing with Zach and how they differ from conventional care providers.
An amazing and wonderful outcome of the open morning was that Sue Darker who is the Operations Director for Learning Disabilities and Mental Health told us that she would like Hertfordshire to Commission the service working with Beam and with me Co-producing. It is a very exciting and thrilling idea that Hertfordshire, which before thezachproject had nowhere suitable for young people like Zach are now interested in commissioning the service and making it available as an option.
Those of you who have read my blog will possibly remember the difficulties we had selling the idea initially to the powers that be. It was unknown territory to Hertfordshire with the added uncertainty to them of using Beam ABA services who were not a known provider. Had it not been for the expertise and tireless work of Beam thezachproject would not have worked. I had an idea but it would have been almost impossible to get it off the ground without them.
Cormac and I will be meeting with Sue and commissioners in April.
Another massive pat on the back goes to Hertfordshire because they are one of only two local authorities to signing up all of their special schools to The National Autistic Society Accreditation programme. It was really good to read this and it would be great to think that they may go on to sign up all Hertfordshire schools and not just the special ones! One step at a time though…. 🙂