Celia is 68 and lives in a Housing Association in Surrey. She is supported by Transform Housing & Support.
Celia and the staff who support her at Transform Homecare (a service provided by Transform Housing & Support), have got to know each other over time, and enjoy one another’s company. The layout and facilities in the flat help with supporting her lived-experience of Multiple Sclerosis. The tenancy arrangements mean that Celia feels secure, and the location means that there is often something going on outside for Celia to enjoy.
Previously, Celia was living in a bungalow, but her health circumstances changed, which in turn impacted on her mobility and meant that she had to rely on support from outside her family/friends network.
“I’ve got the best views here. There are gardens on two sides and the school is over the road, so there’s a buzz about the place. Everybody treats me as normal - I’m not classed as disabled. Living at home, in a bungalow in a very quiet road where I was on my own in the day whilst my daughter was at work, was boring, but here, there’s never a dull moment.
It’s very scary at first and it’s a bit embarrassing to have people looking after you intimately – but ‘the girls’ [this is what Celia likes to call the support staff] take it in their stride, so it’s just how it feels for you, because you can’t see to it yourself. But I’ve gotten over that.
I have the luxury of people cooking for me. The girls come in at 7am and get me up, and I’m showered every day. They make breakfast, which I choose, and then help me to the loo around lunchtime and prepare my dinner for me. My daughter gets my shopping, so they’ll cook me whatever; gammon steak it is today. I have a cooked lunch, then teatime is just something light. I then have help to the loo again and to help me to get ready for bed around 9-9:30pm. Those times suit me. I can call on them at other times if I have to - I’m not just stuck to the four times a day. You couldn’t get a nicer bunch of staff; they talk to you like you’re a human being. Whoever employs the staff here must know the sort to employ.
I’ve never been a mixer, never joined in with things. The girls here, we always have a laugh. When it’s warmer, my daughter and grandkids take me out. It’s got to be hot for me to go. We’ve been to Weymouth, Brighton, local shopping centres. I’m very content. I’ve been here four years and it’s been a happy four years.”
About Transform Housing & Support
- Celia is supported by support workers employed by Transform Housing & Support (which merged with Cherchefelle Housing Association in 2016). This team of 24 workers supports 15 tenants in the flats, and 35 others living nearby.
What Transform Housing & Support say:
“We do have to be clever to be flexible. For example, if someone wants to change their lunchtime, or to go out, we can still move hours around a bit - we know who to ask - and they know, if they help someone out, they can ask for flexibility in return. People like to help others.”