“Josh’s family and team of male helpers are amazing in the level of ongoing support,
encouragement and experiences which they provide. He reciprocates their obvious love and
companionship in a positive and sometimes joyful way.”
“What Josh and his PAs are all accomplishing is wonderful and the wider world needs to see and follow.”
-Tina Yates Irlen, diagnostician


New Personal Assistants are recruited in several ways: by word of mouth, advertising and use of employment agencies. As you can see, our team is growing!


a) Hands-on.  

New recruits spend the first several weeks shadowing the existing team, their only task is to observe and ask questions. They are encouraged to use every opportunity to forge a relationship with Josh. Only when all concerned are confident that the time is right will the new member of the team be given a position of responsibility.

b) Courses.

These are sourced from internet research and recommendation. Accreditation is by certification on completion of the course. Essential training includes First Aid, Autism Awareness, Total Communication, Safeguarding, Challenging Behaviour, Health and Safety in Food Preparation, Mental Capacity Act and Supported Decision Making, Person-centred Planning. Additional courses have included Homeopathy, Intensive Interaction, Reflexology, Neuro-linguistic Training and Public Speaking.

↑ click to view

c) Facilitated discussions.

Thought provoking, informative and inspirational exchanges from visiting guests.

d) Monthly P.A. meetings.

This forum allows everyone to have their say and do brainstorm problems and planning. The minutes of the meetings are typed up and displayed on the notice board indicating clearly what actions are to be taken and allocating tasks.

e) One to one supervision.

Each P.A. has an individual, confidential supervision with the Team Manager during which discussion centres around what is and what isn’t working for Josh and for themselves.

f) Expert input.

The manager has an opportunity to consult with Imagineer, our Support Brokers, for advice regarding all aspects of training and management.  

 g) Opportunity to study for a diploma in Health and Social Care level 3.

Wigan College offered the opportunity for studying for this diploma to take place in Joshua’s home with a tutor visiting regularly to deliver and supervise the study programme.

h) Team-building

The team are examining the impact that their thoughts and emotions have on Josh’s mood. We have organised a four-session workshop under the supervision of a specialist psychologist.   

i) Contingency planning

It is important to make provision in training for the unexpected e.g. procedures in case of fire, hospital admission, accidents; Joshua’s parents have Deputyship for both Health and Social Care and Finance. The Circle of Support meets every 3-4 months to oversee his care program and they have access to legal, housing and social work advice if necessary. The following video illustrates this point very well.

The above clip illustrates the importance of forward planning.