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A Social Enterprise providing community based support for adults with learning disabilities and/or autism and mental health in the South West
Family Voices: Patrick Matthews

Family Voices: Patrick Matthews

06 May 2020

You First first supported my brother "I," in September 2014. Our mother Joyce had looked after I all his life and had provided a secure and loving home for him. However, Mum was not very well and was becoming more and more infirm and therefore could not look after him as well as she had in the past.

I can remember speaking to and meeting Andy around that time and was immediately struck by Andy’s passion and drive to provide an all encompassing support plan that put my brother first and foremost and a support structure aimed to further improve his life. After all the years Mum had looked after my brother I have to say that I found it hard to imagine how anybody could be better for him, and who could provide that.

When I see my brother now I see a totally different person. Through You First he has gained so many new skills. Just a few examples; he can run his own bath, make a cup of tea, make his own breakfast, use the telephone and above all he has the confidence to tackle new situations that at one time he would have avoided.

Sadly our Mum died about 18 months ago and I was extremely worried about I and how he would react to this completely new and unknown situation. However, he surprised me and the rest of his family by probably being stronger than us all, once again a great example of the impact You First have had on him.

Having had close contact with You First over the years I can see that the Social Enterprise has changed and become larger with many more customers and staff. However, the same driving force to support individuals, the same passion, the same emotions and above all, from all staff, the desire to make those less able as equal as any of us remains as strong as ever.

Whilst You First provides this all encompassing service to its customers it also provides a service to the customers family members. I know that I and the rest of I’s family feel so comfortable and secure in the knowledge that whatever may happen to him in the future, we know for certain that You First will be there to support him.

You First, it’s all in the name.