Robert Sheppard, better known as Bob, is a 61-year-old customer living in Bristol. Before arriving at Living Plus, Bob was attacked just a few weeks into lockdown, with someone trying to mug him while he slept inside a triangular sleep pod.
He had no possessions on him at the time but was left bruised and with smashed glasses. He said the experience left him feeling “very, very nervous”. He was referred to our directly-managed service at Stonebridge Park. “I love it there, clean and friendly, I feel safe”
Having previously sold the Big Issue around Bristol, Bob now performs with his harmonica - “I've noticed a lot about the way people have become kind. When you’re homeless it's horrible to beg which is why I play the harmonica now”.
Tesfu came to live at Salford Foyer as a young homeless Eritrean man escaping persecution, speaking very little English. Arriving with very few possessions (other than his cherished begena – a traditional Eritrean musical instrument), Tesfu has worked extremely hard to make a new life for himself.
Aided by the encouragement and dedication of the team at Salford Foyer, Tesfu has completed ESOL classes, taken part in English and Maths lessons and has worked with external support services to improve his opportunities of securing employment. Tesfu's determination to succeed has prepared him to move on to a new chapter in his life.
Valerie has lived at Laverneo in Sunderland for over twenty years and was one of the first customers to move in when the service opened.
She now leads an active social life. She enjoys trips to the theatre, listening to music and is part of a local craft and cookery club. Valerie enjoys living here because she feels settled and has achieved the independence she wanted - going where she wants, when she wants.
Over the years she's built valuable friendships with other residents and staff.
Living in a two-bedroom council-owned property, both Julie and George have several complex care needs and significant health issues.
They felt they would benefit from the security of living in a Housing with Care scheme, knowing there are care staff in the building 24/7 and support staff on site.
This gives them the security and peace of mind they wanted. Julie has improved so much that she has become a scheme volunteer. She now runs a lunch club every Monday which encourages social interaction between participants, to help alleviate isolation and loneliness.
Darren has a learning disability and was reliant upon his mother's support with his daily life. Sadly his mum passed away, leaving Darren alone with no support networks, struggling to cope with finances and living in poor conditions without utilities.
With the help of Living Plus in Newcastle, Darren's quality of life has improved beyond recognition. He now feels safe and cared for in his home by Living Plus staff who have helped him regain his confidence and independence.
He values this support so much so that he wants to give something back by doing voluntary work and raising money for charity.
Kerry had a lot to cope with at home, with sole responsibility falling on her young shoulders for the upbringing of her two siblings.
Consequently, she couldn’t go to school or college when she needed to which affected her education. And when Kerry did attend, she was bullied, which meant that her confidence and self-esteem were low.
This wasn't helped by the fact that she couldn't escape and spend time outside of school with her friends as she had to look after her siblings, leaving her feeling like she'd lost her own identity.
Kerry was initially referred to CAMHS young person's mental health service and now meets regularly with her Doctor to support her depression and manage her medication.
With the help of the Living Plus team, Kerry successfully completed a GROW programme (employability course) run by Connexions and is now working with them to find an apprenticeship.
Before coming to Living Plus Supported Services in Sheffield, Simon proudly held a responsible position at the Post Office, managing a large team. But things quickly took a turn for the worse after receiving some devastating news from his family.
The news turned Simon's life upside down and he spiralled into depression, losing his previous tenancy, seeing his relationship disintegrate and was forced into sofa surfing and sleeping on the streets.
He just needed a place to get his head together and the space to rebuild his life, and with the support of the Living Plus team, he has now moved onto his own independent space where he can enjoy a brighter future with his daughter.
In 2019, Moira sadly passed away. Her memory and story will endure as a face of Living Plus.
Moira lived in one of our homes for nearly eight years.
Being fiercely independent, she liked to get involved in a variety of activities such as crafts, art, cooking and loves going to the gym to keep fit.
Our staff encouraged Moira to speak up for herself and convey her feelings which shows her that her opinion really counts. Moira valued the fact that she always had someone to talk to about her concerns.
Claire has lived at Viewfield in Chester-le-Street for over twenty years. She lives in a large single storey house which she shares with other residents.
She values living in a settled environment and living an 'ordinary' life. Claire is very house proud and loves vacuuming!
Just doing the things that most people take for granted is a real achievement for Claire.