“Now I am settled, I can keep thinking positively and carrying on with what I am doing,” explain Tom, laughing with former support worker Justin.
Tom started his journey with Horton Housing at Vale Street, a learning disability service in Todmorden and the Upper Valley area. When the service finished, Tom moved into shared accommodation across the Pennines in nearby Rochdale, but struggled with behaviour issues and was subsequently evicted.
Through the support around Tom, he moved back into Calderdale before finding a tenancy at Rosemary Close. There, Tom had his own flat with a communal office area and night wardens on hand that he could discuss any issues he was facing.
“When Tom came to us, he was presenting emotional problems and anger problems,” explains support worker Justin. “We put support in place to help Tom stay safe and protect himself. There were a few budgeting issues and Tom was open to abuse at times as well, so there were quite a few complex needs. We drew in the correct services such as social services, so he now has social workers who take him out. None of these services were in place beforehand and Tom was left on his own really.”
Having this network around him really helped make a difference, according to Tom.
“When I was in previous places, I had one-to-one support but had anger problems. They then put me on a two-to-one support plan with two staff members helping me. The support really helped me in finding the accommodation where I am at now. I am very happy with the support.”
These thoughts are echoed by Justin, who shows enormous pride in discussing the progress that Tom has made.
“Tom probably doesn’t see the difference himself that the support has made. Now, he can manage his emotions much better by processing and redirecting them as opposed to being impulsive. Broadly speaking, Tom has come a very long way and is much more settled now in himself and in his accommodation.”
Tom is currently enjoying living in specialised accommodation for people with learning difficulties, provided by the local authority. Newly refurbished and with a long term plan in place for the future, he is very positive thinking ahead and is eager to stay close to those who have played a role in his journey.
“I hope to still keep in touch with everyone at Horton Housing and can’t wait to join the trips with the volunteers once they start up again. I am very excited to do this!”
For more from Starts at Home Day, click here.