In June 2016 DJ Joe took a train to Plymouth with some mates to play a set at the Funky Llama festival. He was a big hit.
Like a lot of young people Joe’s life is full of music, performing arts and sport. He was a competitive swimmer for some years, and now enjoys football, rock-climbing and skiing.
He’s a member of Greengoose Theatre Company and Magpie Dance, both based in Bromley near to where he lives.
Our support is arranged to enable Joe to follow these passions. This means ensuring staff are available whatever time of the day or night he needs them.
We are funded to provide Joe with a regular number of hours support a week, but we do not use these in a fixed pattern. Rather, we find out what Joe wants to do by listening to Joe himself, his mum and his keyworker.
Like most people, sometimes Joe wants to do things outside of his normal routine. We are able to accommodate that because we don’t offer Joe a fixed, rigid rota into which he has to fit, but rather we organise support to fit him.
We have done this by banking time - which means that in some weeks Joe might not use all of his allocated hours, but hold them in reserve for busy periods, like the gig in Plymouth, for example.
The DJing started when Joe began attending Map Squad every Wednesday – a group run by and for people with learning disabilities.
Marilyn, Joe’s Mum, says:
“Having been keen on dance and music for many years, Joe started to show a real interest in DJing soon after moving into his first flat, supported by Aurora Options.
Aurora has always looked for interesting activities for Joe and sent me details about DJing courses at Map Squad in Whitechapel.
Joe was very keen to take part and really took off after that, regularly training and touring with them. He now has his own DJing equipment and is asked to DJ for his swim club and other groups.
He absolutely loves it and spends hours practising and compiling play lists.”
Joe has a regular paid gig at the Bubble Club, in Shoreditch.
He says the tunes that get the best reaction at the moment are Black Magic by Little Mix, and Cheerleader by OMI.
Marilyn believes that Joe’s “independence and confidence have grown through all the activities he undertakes and the great support he gets to access these.”