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A new life for Chris – Spencer House housing project

26th June 2019

Chris 53, moved into Spencer House after the death of both his parents. He had learning difficulties, had never lived independently in his life and knew nothing about sustaining a tenancy, being responsible for paying bills, eating healthily and all the things we learn from parents, teachers, peers etc.

Chris settled into the house well, became a huge hit with the other residents and was well loved. He would spend time in the communal kitchen, watching TV, chatting and making jokes; a favourite pastime was watching ‘Tipping Point’ at 4pm on weekdays and having an ongoing competition with Staff members.

Chris joined a skittles team which was great for improving his social skills. He struck up a great friendship with another resident and they spent a lot of their time during the summer cycling along the Burcott Lanes; this enabled him to lose weight and focus on becoming healthy.

He completed the Tenancy Accreditation Scheme (TAS), which is a highly respected scheme among Housing Associations; which allowed him to gain his Gold Banding and so moving him closer to being able to move on. One of the modules of TAS is ‘budgeting’, with this new knowledge Chris was able to save his deposit for his new tenancy.

After months at Spencer House Chris was ready to move on positively. He was able to move into Assisted Living Accommodation, which was ideal as this type of accommodation offered him very low level support going forward, which is supplied by the housing association.

Mendip YMCA also offer support to residents after they move on from our floating support team; this usually lasts for up to 6 months, but our door is always open to ex-residents. Chris has regular visits from our Accommodation Worker and he is learning to deal with paying monthly bills, living independently and sustaining his tenancy. Chris continues to visit Spencer House on a regular basis, keeping us all entertained.