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‘I have definitely gained my independence’: Brandon, Kerry, and Kirsty at our Norfolk supported living service prepare to move out!

After two years of receiving support, Brandon, Kerry, and Kirsty are getting ready to move out of their apartments at St Thomas House, our supported living service in North Walsham, Norfolk.

Brandon, Kerry and Kirsty are all in their twenties, and each moved separately to St Thomas House shortly after it opened at the beginning of 2021. Brandon and Kirsty had lived at their parents’ house, while Kerry had lived with a foster carer.

After moving in, our support team worked with all three individuals – alongside the 10 other individuals at St Thomas House – to boost their independent living skills.

 “I have had many talks with staff encouraging me and helping to boost my confidence to do things independently,” says Kerry.

Caption: as part of her independence, Kerry enjoys baking!

New skills

As each person supported at St Thomas House benefits from having their own apartment, individuals often find they more quickly learn household chores and upkeep.

“I feel that having my own flat and living alone has helped me to gain my independence,” says Kirsty. “With help from staff, I have learnt to do things, then over time, asked for less support around these things, and can now do them on my own.”

Caption: Brandon's been cleaning his room and making his bed!

Brandon agrees. “I have been taught things by the staff which I can now do on my own, like cooking and cleaning,” he says. “Being able to do these things makes me feel like I have definitely gained my independence.”


Now he’s gained new skills, Brandon feels empowered.

“I can do lots of things now that I couldn’t when I moved in,” he says. “This includes me being able to cook, clean, and go shopping. I love that I can now do these things and that I can do them independently.”

For Kirsty, part of building her own independence is being able to order and collect her own medication – something she wasn’t able to do when she first moved in.

“I have also learnt how to cook meals for myself and shop for the meals I am cooking,” says Kirsty. “I learnt to do my own laundry and get into a good routine of keeping my flat clean and tidy.”

Caption: Kirsty enjoys being out and about!

Kerry now enjoys the new-found freedom of going into town by herself. “I can go out to places independently, and have now started to go on walks more often,” she says. Kerry also enjoys cooking and cleaning independently.

Future plans

Living in a supported living service alongside other individuals of similar ages is also great for building relationships. As well as learning new life skills, Kerry and Kirsty have become friends.

Caption: Kerry and Kirsty are having coffee at a cafe together!

Brandon, Kerry, and Kirsty are in no rush to move on.

Their support funders at Norfolk County Council have assessed each of them as being ready to leave St Thomas House. Yet each individual is being supported to take the time they need to find a suitable place to live next.

Kerry is thinking about moving to the seaside town of Clacton-on-Sea in Essex. “This is so I can be closer to my family, as most of my family members live in the Clacton area,” Kerry says.

Kirsty hopes to move closer to her sister, who lives 40 minutes away in Norwich.

Meanwhile, Brandon enjoys living locally in North Walsham. “But I wouldn’t mind if I lived in Norwich in the future,” he adds.


Leading each individuals’ support team is Michal Kaczor, St Thomas House’ Registered Manager.

“My management team and I could see them gaining more and more confidence in building up their daily living skills,” says Michal.

“This has been fantastic – to see this process of independence, and to see Brandon, Kerry, and Kirsty grow as individuals. We’re now supporting Brandon, Kerry, and Kirsty as they look towards moving onwards and upwards.”


About St Thomas House:

At St Thomas House, people benefit from a vibrant network of staff and friends, while having peace and quiet when they need it too.

The property has sixteen one-bedroom apartments, each with a spacious open plan kitchen and dining room, and a large bathroom with a wet room style shower. 

St Thomas House is located in a semi-rural area within North Walsham near the Museum of the Broads. The area has pubs, restaurants, supermarkets, takeaways and the RAF Air Defence Radar Museum.

St Thomas House is part of Lifeways.


About Lifeways:

Lifeways is the UK’s largest team of support professionals providing support for adults in the community. 

Our 11,000 colleagues currently support almost 5,000 individuals who live in our 1,500 supported living and residential services across England, Scotland, and Wales. 

Find out more about how we change people's lives at:  

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