Hugo, aged 18, has been supported by Break for 10 years and his grandma, Ann, wanted to share some of Hugo’s journey and the support Break has given Hugo and his family. Here Ann shares Hugo’s story in her own words.
"When a family breaks up, the consequences can be devastating, especially with a child that has severe learning difficulties and other issues. Hugo came to live with me and my husband when he was six-years-old, but I was in my late sixties and my husband in his early seventies. We needed some respite care and Break offered Hugo a place at Morley House, which quickly became his second home.
Hugo lived with us full time in the school holidays and at weekends, which meant giving up our social life as our lives revolved around Hugo’s needs. The Break team helped make our new normal feel normal, made sure we did not feel isolated and helped us cope with the desperate times and the unknown. There was always encouragement and a listening ear, and this was priceless.
"Two years ago, Hugo moved in to Morley House full time. I thought this was going to be traumatic for myself and Hugo, but my fears were unfounded, as he is happy to come home for a visit, but equally happy and excited to go back to Morley House when his lift arrives.
Hugo’s stay at Morley House has been so positive and he has learnt to be more independent, how to cope and manage his emotions, and learn to share and have empathy for others. He had to deal with the loss of his grandad, and, with much support from Break, coped really well. His experience at Morley House has given Hugo a quality of life I could never have given him.
"Everyone has found the lockdown and restrictions hard so, for children with little understanding about what Covid actually means, it has been very difficult. The staff have worked so hard to ensure its young people were kept safe and secure, with lots of indoor activities. As soon as it was safe, Hugo was brought to see me in an outdoor venue and the boy’s wellbeing, mentally and physically, was always the top priority.
"We are now facing a new chapter in Hugo’s life, as he is now going to be moving on. Break are working sensitively with Hugo in preparation for this transition and I am so grateful that Hugo is receiving all this support, as it would have been a daunting task for me to face alone.
I know the past 12 years would have been so different for me and Hugo without the support, help, love and care of Break, who have been there for us every step of the way. A big thank you to Break for all your help on this journey."