3169 Healey Learning Disability Service

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Supporting customers to live their best lives

Matt Roberts

Matt Roberts, PR and media advisor

At Home Group, we work with more than 12,000 vulnerable people across our supported housing and health services. That means we’ve played an active role in trying to improve more than 12,000 lives.

Many of those customers have told us that we have helped them to feel happier, healthier, and more fulfilled.

Within Home Group, that support can come in the shape of, among other things, supported tenancies, homelessness services, mental health hospital discharge teams, and our Move On services. These services cover all ages and complexities and operate in communities all across the country.

Each has a unique role to play in supporting members of our community, and every day we see the excellence and encouragement brought about within those services – by both colleagues and customers alike.

One of the reasons we are keen to lend our support to the Start at Home Day is that it provides a platform to share the amazing stories of those we support.

One of those customers is Amy. Amy is a young adult with highly complex mental health, learning disability and substance misuse support needs. She lacks capacity and is under a Court of Protection order with numerous admissions and extended stays in hospital.

Amy was referred to our Learning Disability STEP service and was housed in temporary accommodation, as nothing was immediately available to meet her 2:1, 24-hour support needs, while being in a quiet location and housed all on one floor.

Since engaging with our Learning Disability STEP service, they have been able to work with colleagues in our business’ rented division and identify a property suitable for Amy’s needs. She was involved throughout the process, picking her colour scheme and soft furnishings.

It has now been more than eight months since Amy moved into that new property. She has had only one brief admission to hospital in the very early days, as she was transitioning into her new home, but otherwise, she has been settled and is now even making plans to transform her garden into her own personalised space.

Amy’s journey helps highlight the success that comes when housing associations collaborate internally to meet the needs of our supported customers. Finding a suitable property had proved one of the key challenges to overcome, and pooling together experience from our supported housing and rented housing teams was key to overcoming this barrier.

Elsewhere, our homelessness services have been working to provide supported housing to members of our community who have fallen on tough times. As well as meeting their physical and mental health needs, we also work with them to provide additional holistic support.

For Andy, a former customer at our Tyneside Foyer homelessness service in Newcastle, our colleagues helped support and encourage him to apply for an apprenticeship with the organisation – something he was successful in earning.

Now, nearly a year on, Andy is a valued member of our Health & Safety Team and has recently been supported to move into his own property.

He said: “It’s been incredible. Every single person I work with has been incredibly kind. If I could put into one word the support I’ve received, it has been nurturing. Having a routine has done so much for my mental health. It has helped my confidence too. It’s been beneficial for almost every aspect of my life.

“Having my own space, I genuinely would say it has opened up my life and given me the ability to believe in myself again.”

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