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Settling into our new service in Seaford

Earlier this year Avenues opened two new supported living services in Seaford for people with learning disabilities. We caught up with the people we support there to find out how they are settling in, how their lives have changed and what their plans are for their first Christmas in their new home.

Doreen Forward, Service Manager at our Seaford Services, said ‘the people we support in Seaford have come from a range of backgrounds including hospital settings, foster homes and residential care. Most of the people who live here are able to go out and about without support so when they first moved in it was about familiarising them with the local community. People were really clear about what activities they wanted to pursue and how they wanted to spend their time, and they have been supported to do these things. People have been out and about a lot, from going to the gym to attending coffee mornings and the theatre. One person wanted to do a course in Brighton, which is 20 minutes away, they now get the bus there each week to attend the course.

For some of the people we support, the move has meant a lot more freedom and a lot more opportunities. Two of the ladies who came from residential settings felt that independence was a really important part of the move for them, so it’s great that they now have this. I think the combination of increased independence and increased support has been a really important change for a lot of the people living here and it has had a positive impact on their lives.'  

John*, one of the people we support in Seaford said, ‘ I used to live in a low secure unit and I didn’t have much freedom, now I have lots of freedom, with my own key to the house. I’ve got a better life here. It’s a nice area to live in and I’ve applied for a job in a shop where I am going for an interview and trial shift. I’m looking forward to Christmas and I’ve been busy buying presents for people. I’m also able to see my family more, and am looking forward to spending Christmas with my mum, sister and auntie at home.’

Another of the people we support Michael* told us about moving into his new home. ‘ I’ve always lived in Seaford but I like living here as the staff are really nice. I really like music and I DJ every week at a radio station in Brighton called Carousel radio, which is easy to get to from the house. There’s also a gym just across the road and I’m an exercise person so I go there quite a lot. There’s a nice garden at the back of the new house, I really enjoy gardening and have been able to start doing that. I’m looking forward to Christmas, which I’m spending with my family, and I’ll be starting my Christmas shopping soon!’

Finally we spoke to Lewis* who also lives in one of our Seaford services, he told us ‘Since moving here I have a lot more people to socialise with and a lot more people who can help me if I need them to. I have more support that I did before and I like the company. I’m staying here for Christmas and I’m cooking Christmas dinner – we’re having ham, roast potatoes and everything else. They’ll also be lots of chocolate and watching Christmas films. I think I’m settling into the house well, I’m easy going like that and I’m living in a better place since moving here.’

*not their real names

20th December 2016