In March, clients and staff held a birthday party at the Old Vicarage as it celebrated its first year of operating as a residential scheme for adults with mental health difficulties.
The scheme provides supported accommodation, access to a range of education, training and employment opportunities and community health services to enable clients to take the next steps towards independent living.
There are seven self-contained flats with a bathroom, kitchen, bedroom and living room.
Each resident is allocated a support worker to offer emotional support, help with applying for benefits, and encourage service users to maximise their independence and achieve a better quality of life.
They also receive support to help them maintain and develop independent living skills, including food preparation and attending to personal care, supporting integration in the local community and promoting opportunities for educational, employment and social activities.
All of The Old Vicarage’s clients have lived there for one year now. This is a massive achievement for many of them, as previously, they were unable to hold a tenancy or position for more than a few months.
The past year has been a challenge for the clients as they all adjusted to a new living environment and ways of working. Even accepting the increased level of support they receive can be both challenging and comforting as they’re not used to this level of stability.
The team wanted to celebrate their achievements as individuals and as a community, to inspire them to believe in their future recovery.
They asked each client to write their goal, wish or affirmation for the next year on a card and attach it to a balloon, which they released in the garden as a way of allowing that wish to come true.
Chandni Gill, the manager of the scheme, said,
“Clients were excited to show the staff their wishes, and they wrote beautiful things, such as asking for world peace, wishing to see their grandchildren and wishing for eternal happiness.
For them to see a future for themselves, is a huge achievement, but for them to see a future as being part of the world as a whole allows us to see that they are starting to see themselves as less isolated and more involved. We couldn’t be more proud and look forward to continuing successes.”