"I’m more hopeful about my future. I’m not in a vicious cycle anymore"

Housing Tenant

He gives me something to live for. I’ve not self-harmed since I’ve had him. He’s had a calming effect on me, I feel different.

I’m a tenant of Southdown. I’ve lived here for a year. It’s changed my life basically.

I lived with a friend before I came here. I started sleeping on his sofa because my previous housing association property wasn’t suitable for my mobility needs or my mental health. I felt isolated.

Southdown first helped me when their Tenancy Sustainment Coordinator visited my friend. They noticed that I needed support and that’s how I got involved with Southdown. They made sure that both our tenancies weren’t in jeopardy. 

My Southdown Housing Officer did such an awesome job. It was only a few weeks after meeting her that this flat became available. She supported me in finding suitable alternative accommodation.

I live on the ground floor so I don’t have to worry about falling up and down the stairs. I’m not scared anymore. If I have any problems or any repairs I need doing, I speak to my Housing Officer. I feel like I’m more independent and I can relax and chill out a lot more. 

I’ve had adaptations made through the Occupational Therapist since I’ve been here. I can now shower and not worry about falling. I can sit down and enjoy the water. 

I said ‘yes’ straightaway when Southdown offered me this flat. Walking through the front door and seeing it was on the ground floor, had a wet room, a built-in cooker, and a garden, was massive for me. I moved in several weeks later.

Because my mobility needs have been met it has helped with my mental health, but it was overwhelming and emotional and scary when I moved in. It was a massive change. 

My friend stayed with me the first night because I was a bit scared. I was paranoid – not knowing the area and the sounds outside. It was somewhere new and with my anxiety, change isn’t good. It stresses me out. It was triggering my Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder and PTSD so it was a scary, difficult time. It took a while to settle in.

I had to change my mental health support services but I had a lot of support with that transition from my psychiatrist and The Sanctuary in Hastings.

With my mobility I have good and bad days and I use a walker. The only thing that concerned me was getting to the town centre from here. I have to use taxis but now they know me, I can find my way around, and I get on with my neighbours.

I’ve had a good team around me. My Housing Officer was sorting out my tenancy and I was getting support from Home Works and a Financial Inclusion Officer to help with changing my bills and utilities during the move.

My Housing Officer has been really really outstanding – she deserves a medal. She was so supportive. She knew I was ready to live independently. She spoke to me and supported me as a human being. When some people realise you have mental health problems, they judge you. Southdown has never done that.

I try to go to Eastbourne Wellbeing Centre twice a week. On Mondays it’s the social walk-in and on Thursdays it is the Thinking Well service. Sometimes it’s hard. It can be intense.

Because I am more settled and calm here, I have more concentration span than I used to have so I’ve been able to go back to my arts and crafts. 

I also started fostering a dog in April and I adopted him in June! He’s changed my life. Everyone’s noticed a difference in me. My Community Psychiatric Nurse sees how happy I am. It’s true what they say – dogs can help with mental health.

I’ve been losing weight and I can now go to places like Hobby Craft on my own. That’s how much more confident I am since having him. I have a sense of humour now and I talk to other people when we go on walks. I trust myself a bit more. I’ve not felt like that in a long time. 

I’d be lost without him. He gives me something to live for. I’ve not self-harmed since I’ve had him. He’s had a calming effect on me, I feel different. I had a trigger last week and normally I’d do something stupid like harm myself, but having him stopped me. I have him to look after now.

It’s so nice to come home and have him greet me. I can’t have children so he gets my love and attention. And it’s so nice to see him happy and secure. He feels safe. It’s a match made in heaven.

I’m more hopeful about my future. I’m not in a vicious cycle anymore. I feel positive that hopefully one day I won’t need to be on medication for my mental health.

The support I’ve received has been outstanding. I couldn’t ask for anything better. I feel safe and comfortable and secure knowing that I can call this place my home. Home is where the heart is.

 

We are a specialist housing provider and landlord for over 600 tenants and shared owners across Sussex. We provide different types of affordable housing from temporary accommodation to a long term home. As a supported housing landlord, we provide additional support for our tenants to help them manage their tenancy and maintain their home.