“It’s phenomenal – a big thank you to everyone whose hard work and generosity made this possible” – Ann, Sarah’s mum

Sarah’s mother, Ann, has had a worrying time since Sarah first moved from the family home 26 years ago. Sarah had lived in three different homes in Newark, becoming lonely and isolated living on her own so far from her family, finding it difficult to get along with the others in shared accommodation, and returning home when things didn’t work out.

The last few years were easier, as Reach housed Sarah in rented properties in Southwell along with two other Reach clients. This enabled her to live nearer her family, and have the support of Reach Care, but there were still some issues, as the group had to move houses when a tenancy ended. As in most households, there were also some grumbles between the group including disputes over which TV programmes to watch!

Beverley Rayner, who worked with the residents for 18 months on the transition to the new accommodation, says:

“Sarah is a great asset to the group, as she has shared her experiences of living with other people, and is the first to point out if someone is upset. She has gained more confidence, and the change has suited her.”

Since Sarah moved into the new Southwell accommodation, Ann has finally been able to stop worrying and see a future for Sarah.

“Sarah has settled in nicely, thanks to the transition work she did with Beverley. The whole family are extremely pleased, and her niece and nephews have already visited her there. The accommodation is superb, and that is now her home for life.”

The move to the Southwell accommodation was a big change for Sarah, as it was the first time she had lived with a bigger group of people, and meant that she had less one-to-one care from her support staff. However, as Sarah herself says:

“I’m very happy here. It is different from what I am used to – but in a good way”

Living with five others has enabled Sarah to find friends of a similar age with common interests. They enjoy the same TV programmes, and making cards in the shared living and activity rooms. She now happily walks to the shops and the Reach Centre in Southwell with her friends, something she resisted previously.

Like all the residents, she now has a bigger bedroom with her own sitting area, so can have time out on her own when she needs it.

Rosie, Team Leader in Sarah’s house, says:

“Initially Sarah struggled with not having so much one-to-one support, but we discussed it, and she realised that she does not need so much help now.”