A Dundee woman with a learning disability has spoken of how her dreams came true after staff at her support service enabled her to visit Disneyland Paris as part of her birthday celebrations.
Vicky is a resident at Ellen Mhor, a specialist residential service in Dundee supporting adults living with learning disabilities. Thanks to the support of staff at the Cygnet Social Care service, she celebrated her 45th birthday in style, going on her first ever holiday abroad to Disneyland Paris.
Having always dreamt about visiting Disneyland, Vicky, who has a mild learning disability and autism, asked staff whether they could help her with the travel arrangements and support her on the trip. They accompanied her on a visit to the travel agents to book her own holiday, where she chose her favourite hotel and even added on some extras, such as breakfast with the characters and a birthday cake surprise.
Maintaining a regular routine is extremely important for Vicky and this includes spending time colouring and watching films. In order to support Vicky’s routine whilst away, staff provided her with several colouring books and new pens each day. She also purchased herself a tablet which she could use to watch films whilst she was travelling and to watch in her hotel room. These extra comforts helped Vicky to manage her emotions on holiday.
Describing the holiday, Vicky said she loved walking around the park and going into the shops to buy herself some Disney memorabilia. On her birthday, Vicky visited an Aladdin themed restaurant for lunch and was surprised with her Mickey Mouse birthday cake. In the evening, she watched the Disney Electrical Sky Parade and fireworks at the castle.
When asked about her favourite part of the holiday, Vicky said: “I loved it all, I loved my birthday cake and meeting Sniggles (Stitch)”.
Lori Sutherland, Cygnet Social Care Deputy Home Manager at Ellen Mhor, said: “Trips like these to Disneyland are so important for our residents in order to help them capture their dreams and to create new memories that will last a lifetime.
“It was an absolute privilege to be invited by Vicky to support her on this trip and to see the pure joy and excitement it provided her.
“I have supported Vicky for almost 13 years and I am still learning new things about her every single day that can help to improve the quality of care we provide. Something I learnt about Vicky whilst away was her love for seafood, she was delighted with the buffet choices of fresh fish, mussels, and prawns, she ate these every day. This is definitely something I will look at introducing into Vicky’s diet now she is back at home.
“At Ellen Mhor and across other Cygnet Social Care services, we are always looking for ways to introduce new opportunities for our residents and will always do our best to ensure that we support the dreams and wishes of the people we care for.”