Jenny, aged 8Jenny (pictured left, aged 8) was the first girl to start at Prior’s Court in March 2000.  She had been at a special needs day school specialising in autism when her parents were asked to find another school as her autism was too severe for the school to cope with. Like many of the young people at Prior's Court, Jenny is non-verbal, which can cause anxiety and behavioural issues due to the frustration of not being able to communicate.

Her parents describe how difficult things were at that time:

Jenny’s behaviour had become impossible to cope with at home.  I spent every minute watching her, keeping her safe, and our other three children safe from her, or else clearing up the constant mess and destruction she created up until 1.00 or 2.00 am, when she eventually fell asleep.  Left to herself for a minute, she would break kitchen locks, get hold of cleaning liquids and start to drink them, or pour it over her bed, for example.

Jenny has made significant progress since joining Prior's Court. She was toilet trained within 2 years, which her parents thought wasn't possible, and she is much calmer and more responsive. Although she remains non-verbal and is unable to read or write, the progress she has made in terms of her life and vocational skills is tremendous.  Jenny has also been supported to manage her sensory sensitivities meaning she is now able to cope with day to day self-care tasks, which initially she could not tolerate.

Jenny's work placements and the bakery mean so much to us as we never thought she would be able to have a job. Jenny seems very proud to put on her uniform and was very excited to see her bread come out of the ovens.  We are so grateful to all the staff who have been so caring and patient with her. 

Jenny's mum, Anne

Jenny has been on the Bread & Beyond journey since we launched at The London Stock Exchange in November 2017. She already has 3 offsite work placements so the staff at Prior's Court felt that she was ready for the next challenge - working in our bakery. It will provide her with enhanced key skills both for everyday life and for future work opportunities.