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Joining Look Ahead

This page gives you some information about what you can expect once you start receiving support from us.

You’re now a Look Ahead customer – either living in one of our services or receiving support at home.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to remember it all. When you join your service, staff will take time to make sure you have the information you need to get the most out of your time with us.

You will usually receive one of two types of services from us:

  • You might have moved into a service and be receiving support there in a building we own or manage. We call this accommodation-based support.
  • Or you might be getting  support from staff who visit you in your own home or where you are already living. This is known as floating support.

When you move in, you will be given a welcome pack. This will give you some information about the service, the support available, practical things like health and safety (e.g. fire drills and room checks) and any important house rules in your service.

Visitors

Because it’s important for us to provide a safe and peaceful environment for our residents, our services often have rules about visitors that we will expect you to respect.

We know it’s important that you can spend time with your family and loved ones and we will support you to do this where we can. We encourage you to speak to staff about involving the people that are important to you in your support sessions.

Paying your rent

When you move in, our staff will also talk to you about your rent and service charges, and explain your different payment options. You may be eligible for Housing Benefit that can be used towards your rent costs.

Paying your rent and service charge is an important part of living at one of our services. It means you are able to stay with us to receive the support you need, and that we can provide you with a place to live.

If you do not pay your rent or service charge, this will put your placement with us at risk. It also means you may find it much more difficult to move on when you’re ready.

What to bring

All of our accommodation-based services are furnished so there is no need for you to bring any furniture with you. You can bring your personal belongings with you and staff will let you know how much space and storage you will have.

As our insurance does not cover your individual personal items (for example, if they get lost or damaged) it’s important you insure your own belongings. Staff can help you find personal contents insurance to do this.

As most of our services include shared and communal areas, in most cases, we are unable to accept pets, though there may be some exceptions. If you do have a pet that you would like to bring with you, please speak to your service directly for more information.

If you have any more questions about what to bring or anything else about your service, please speak to the service directly as answers will vary depending on which service you are moving to.

If you are joining one of our floating support services, our staff will be visiting you for support sessions. These sessions can take place in your home or somewhere else in your local area where you feel comfortable –for example, a local café.

As well as where you meet, your Support Worker will also agree with you how often you will meet. This will depend on what you need and want to achieve. This isn’t set in stone and may go up or down as your needs change. Your Support Worker will also let you know how to get in touch with them if you need some extra support in between your meetings.

We will support you in the areas you need and that are important to you. Often in floating support, this will be about helping you to maintain your tenancy. This may include things like help with benefits and budgeting, managing your home and getting out and involved in your local area. We will also put you in touch with other organisations or groups near where you live that can help you in particular areas.

Keeping you safe

One of the first things that will happen when you start at your service is that staff will complete a risk assessment with you.

This is very important as it will make sure that staff are aware of any possible risks related to your support needs and helps us to keep you and others in the service safe.

Meeting your Support Worker

During your time in the service, you will have a Support Worker, who will be the person helping to manage your support and working with you to achieve your goals.

You will be working closely with your Support Worker so it’s important you feel comfortable with them.  That’s why, wherever possible, we offer our customers the chance to choose your Support Worker. In many services, you can view staff profiles, where you can find out more about the different Support Workers working at that service, their interests and experience.  This can help you to choose the right person for you.

Although you will spend most of your time with your Support Worker, all of the staff at your service will try to get to know you so they can also offer you support as and when you might need it – for example, if your Support Worker is on holiday or away from work.

Your support plan

Once you have your Support Worker, you will spend time together to create your support plan. This will usually happen in the first week at your service.

Your support plan is an important part of making sure that you get the support you need. It sets out your own personal goals and how you are going to work with your Support Worker to achieve them. You will use this plan every time you meet your Support Worker, to keep track of how you are progressing.

A big part of creating your support plan is looking at the things you are good at, what you enjoy and what’s important to you. By looking at your strengths (as well as your needs), we hope we will be able to work with you better to help you achieve your goals.

You and your Support Worker will also decide how often you will be meeting for support sessions. How often you will meet will depend on your needs and goals. You may meet weekly, fortnightly or monthly.  This is likely to change over time and as you become more independent, you will often start to meet less.

Practical support

In between your support plan sessions, we will help you to take practical steps to help you meet your needs and achieve your goals. This might include things like helping you to apply for benefits and going with you to hospital or medical appointments.

We can also help you with everyday things like shopping, cooking meals and looking for work. Many services offer workshops and group sessions where you can join other customers in learning new things like how to budget or cook healthy meals.

If there’s anything you’d like to do that isn’t currently on offer, please just let your Support Worker know.

Lisa's
story

"My advice to anyone moving in or starting with a Look Ahead service is ‘don’t be scared’. It can be daunting accepting help for the first time but you are not alone."

Read Lisa's story