Sarah smiling

After Sarah moved out of her mother’s home to accommodation in Newark 26 years ago, she lived in three different homes, but none worked out for her. She became lonely and isolated living on her own so far from her family, and found it difficult to get along with the others in shared accommodation, returning home when things didn’t work out.

Naturally, the uncertainty and unhappiness that Sarah felt during this time had a huge impact on her mental health. She went from being an independent young woman who travelled on her own by bus from Newark to Reach Southwell, to someone reluctant to leave her room and join in any activities. Her mum, Ann, describes this time;

I was constantly worrying. There were always different staff who didn’t really know her. Twice we agreed with her that she would come home as she was becoming depressed. She lost her confidence and her independence.”

Two years ago, Reach helped Sarah to secure a place in a rented house in Southwell, sharing with two other clients. Although this arrangement worked better for Sarah, she still faced the uncertainty that renting brings. Now, at last, with the completion of our Southwell accommodation, Sarah has a stable home in the community where she feels safe and connected. This will bring long-term benefits to her mental health and independence.

Ann says;

Now that the Reach house is finished, I can relax. It is such a relief that Sarah will have a lovely home for the future, with care staff who she trusts, and other Reach services nearby. She’s had good support to rebuild her confidence and learn new skills through Reach courses. Reach have also helped parents and families to get to know each other and make sure everyone had done what was needed to be ready for the move.”

Steve Shatwell, Chief Executive of Reach said;

Sarah’s story really gets across the difficulty of finding suitable independent living accommodation for adults with learning disabilities in the area where they were born and grew up, and how that impacts on their mental health and their families. At last, we can give our 12 and their families the peace of mind that they need, knowing that they have a long-term home in their community.”