Freedom and friendship: Kyle and Alex move into Bradbury Gardens
Kyle Thornton and his flatmate Alex Johnson have a bit of a competition going on about who does the best James Bond impersonation.
‘Well, he can think he is the best but that’s where he is wrong,’ says Kyle.
The pair, both in their third year at National Star, are living in an independent flat at Bradbury Gardens in Cheltenham.
For Kyle, that camaraderie is as important to him as all the independence skills that he is learning.
‘I didn’t realise that before I came to National Star I was quite lonesome,’ he says. ‘Now my friendships have become much stronger.’
Kyle is learning to do his own shopping, menu plan and cook simple meals. It is all preparation for when he leaves college. His family are extending the family home so that Kyle has his own ‘mini flat’ and can be independent.
At the age of three Kyle experienced serious physical injuries and a severe brain injury in a car accident. Doctors told his father that Kyle would probably never be able to do anything for himself.
Eighteen years on, Kyle is studying Creative and Performing Arts at National Star and hopes to work as an actor.
‘Since coming to National Star I have become much more self–confident and am better at time management,’ says the 21–year–old.
As a result of the extensive physiotherapy at National Star, Kyle now uses a Meywalker, which gives him the support to walk short distances on his own.
‘To see Kyle up on his feet using his Meywalker was very emotional for me. That first time I saw him at National Star walking I cried my eyes out,’ said Kyle’s father Andy.
‘He just gets on with things. He has surprised everybody with what he has achieved. We’re incredibly proud of him and we love him to pieces.’