All this week we are putting the spotlight on our supported housing services, in the run up to Starts at Home Day 2021 this Friday. The day celebrates the difference supported housing makes to thousands of people’s lives, people like Nigel.
Nigel is a 36-year-old man with Asperger’s and suffers with depression and anxiety. Nigel has never lived independently. In his early years he lived with both his parents then at the age of 10 lived with his mother and his other siblings.
In more recent years Nigel’s father has been in contact with him and discovered that Nigel’s mum was not only claiming benefits for Nigel and not providing him with any income but was also keeping Nigel living in her home with his brother, in order to stay in a much larger property. Nigel’s mum was emotionally blackmailing him to never live independently and with Nigel having little or no understanding of this believed everything he was told.
When his father and stepmother became involved, through the relevant authorities they opened a financial abuse case and spoke with Nigel about living independently. Nigel was keen to explore this and together they supported him to find a property of his own, he was then a suitable match for a home with Great Places.
Nigel was supported to claim the benefits he was entitled to in his own name and whilst he was good at using digital tools such as websites, he found it difficult to deal with telephone calls. Through his dedicated Housing and Wellbeing Officer (HWO), she was able to liaise with organisations to explain the barriers Nigel was facing and was able to provide practical advice on what would make things easier for him. She was also able to enrol Nigel into a dedicated support group, that will assist him and help him overcome the barriers he faces.
Nigel has received lots of family support from his Dad and his Step mum to make his house his home. Through our colleagues at Great Places Nigel was also able to apply for the House to Home Fund, financial support for purchasing essential home items such as a cooker and washing machine. Nigel’s worker also helped him to access additional funds through local charitable organisations and helped to complete applications for additional essential items, including a sofa and bed to sleep in.
Nigel’s Housing and Wellbeing Officer was also able to help Nigel set up all his household bills onto Direct Debit, to ensure he kept on track with managing his expenses. She also explored with Nigel his options for gaining employment and if he had any interests or hobbies he would like to do. She was able to put him in touch with Great Places employability team, who worked with Nigel to find him a volunteering opportunity close to home to help him gain new skills along with enrolling Nigel onto an art and drawing class to help improve his mental health needs.
Nigel is now happy and settled and is loving life in his new home and when asked if he had any regrets with moving to live independently, he said, his only regret was that he didn’t do it sooner. Through working together, Nigel he is now thriving in his own home and is living independently.
To find out more about our offer, including our model and guiding principles click here