by Project Worker Rachael Sherrington (Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees)
T-Jay has lived with his grandmother Carole since he was a baby. Carole describes how being a kinship carer can be tough at times, and how her life changed a lot when T-Jay came to live with her on a full-time permanent basis. T-Jay also has a diagnosis of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) which brings its own challenges, and he needs support in daily living and with motor skills, physical health, learning, memory, attention, emotional regulation, and social skills.
Despite T-Jay’s challenges, he showed an immediate love and aptitude for horses. Carole explained how being around the horses at Howarth Riding for the Disabled helped him focus, improve his confidence and meet a group of like-minded friends. Carole describes how it soon became clear that T-Jay had a real talent and loved to spend his time at the stables. T-Jay competed at the Riding for the Disabled National Championships when he was just four years old and placed 6th. A decade later T-Jay travelled to Abu Dhabi to the Special Olympics and has won two golds and a bronze medal. With Carole’s support and nurturing, T-Jay is well on the way to meeting his truly unlimited potential.
Carole attends the Special Guardian support groups in Shipley and Keighley and finds the support invaluable. With Carole’s fantastic understanding of T-Jays needs, FASD and developmental trauma she herself is a real asset in supporting other carers through the support groups.
I am sure that you will all join us at Grandparents Plus to congratulate T-Jay on his fantastic achievement in Abu-Dhabi, and to thank Carole for her on-going support.