Olympic achievement for Eastgateā€™s James

Eastgate resident James Noble with his medals.
Eastgate resident James Noble with his medals.

A Stoke man with learning disabilities is pursuing his passion for sport after competing in the Special Olympics, with help from support workers.

James Noble, 20, first moved to Sanctuary Supported Living’s (SSL) Eastgate service, which provides residential care for people with learning disabilities in May 2017 following a period spent in respite care with another provider.

After moving in to Eastgate, James, who has autism and other needs, was able to draw up a personalised support plan with SSL staff and identify areas where they agreed he needed assistance.

James is supported to develop daily living skills including cooking, money management, accessing the community and decision-making with the goal of progressing towards more independent accommodation.

With some assistance from Eastgate’s social inclusion co-ordinator, however, he was also supported to get into the world of sports and, following a visit to the local athletics track, James was hooked.

He then went on to compete in a Special Olympics event at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium, taking home three gold medals (for long jump, 50m sprint and 100m sprint) and one silver (for the relay) – and is currently training for spring and summer events.

When he’s not competing, James also attends Strathmore College, where he is taking courses in living skills, woodwork, performing arts, sports and recreation and outdoor activities.

James said: “I like living in my own flat and I like cooking my own tea.”

Local service manager Gary Tideswell added: “James came to us during a difficult period in his life and we’re glad to see he’s absolutely flourished with the help of some support.

“We’re immensely proud of his successes on the track and it’s rewarding to see him keep a level head and continue with his college studies at the same time.”

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