Case study: Martin

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Martin worked in the catering industry since leaving school.

His employment came with accommodation, furniture and all his amenities so when he was forced to give up work after a series of strokes he had no experience of living on his own.

To add to his problems, the stroke left him with memory loss and speech difficulties so he had difficulty making himself understood.

“I never had belongings,’ he said. “I didn’t know how to sort out electricity and gas bills, council tax. I didn’t have a bed; I didn’t have a cooker. Everything had always been provided for me so when I moved out, I didn’t have anything.

“Eighteen months ago, I had three little strokes. I couldn’t speak very well and to speak on the phone was impossible. I had six months’ full pay from my employer but when that ran out, I was short of money. I wouldn’t have been able to cope if the help hadn’t been available.”

Martin became a client of Horton Housing’s Harrogate STAY service, part of the North Yorkshire Homeless Prevention Service. Horton Housing helped him sort out his disability payments, set up his utilities and put him in touch with charities that could provide furniture.

His home is now filled with photographs of his past jobs, his travels and his volunteering. Over the past 30 years, Martin has been a scout leader and was awarded a Community Hero Award in recognition for his contribution. Now that he is on the road to recovery, he is helping with fundraising and recently organised a tombola which raised £180 for Children in Need.