Kirsty - has been a tenant with Stepping Stones Supported Housing since April 28th 2011 (the date remains firmly ensconced in her memory). Her first experience with us was at the Gippeswyk Project, a shared house in Ipswich, but in November 2011 she felt able to move into one of our newly refurbished self-contained flats, where she feels quite settled. Here is her story:
“I became unwell after my husband passed away in 2008. He left me to deal with a load of debts and a court case and I found I couldn’t cope at all. I contacted Social Services, but they weren’t very helpful. I hadn’t eaten for ages, and was so weak physically. One day the Police and Ambulance arrived and I was very frightened. I was put on an isolation ward and stayed in hospital for 6 months. I tried to kill myself.
I went back to my flat for 3 months and tried to overdose, so was back in hospital again. Then I found God, which helped me a lot. They tried to find me somewhere to live, so that I could be discharged from hospital, but all they could find was somewhere in Sudbury. It was a lovely place, but too far out for me.
Eventually, I met with Stepping Stones Supported Housing, who offered me a room at the Gippeswyk Project. I chose the paint for the room – and paid for it – but the support staff actually painted it for me. I moved in on 28th April. There were some problems with sharing, particularly cooking in the kitchen with other tenants, but the house was nice and homely, with a lovely garden. It had a nice family type atmosphere. Joe moved me into my flat. I sometimes feel a bit lonely but I do see the other tenants – they pop in for a cup of tea from time to time.”
I do quite a few activities during the week – I attend a computer class, which is tiring, but enjoyable. I would like a computer of my own so that I can practice at home, so my Care coordinator is looking to see if there are any grants available. He’s very helpful. I also volunteer at the Resource centre for homeless people, working in the kitchen –cooking, washing-up etc., which is very hard work, but I really enjoy it and it boosts my confidence a lot. I also go to my local church and I see a counsellor once a week.
The staff at Stepping Stones have helped me a great deal, particularly the House Manager and the support staff. Everyone is so willing to give help and support. I feel much, much better since coming to Stepping Stones Supported Housing, although I do have ‘off’ days. I haven’t been back to hospital since.
I now feel settled and I have been told I can stay here as long as I want. I don’t feel ready to move yet, but when I do, I might move back to Norwich to be near to family.
It’s very good here and I would recommend it to anyone”
(Please note that we have changed the name to protect this person's privacy)