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ray lifeways bedwardine court learning disability

Ray, who’s one of the individuals we support at Lifeways, moved into one of our self-contained supported living apartments in Worcestershire in January – and he says it’s changed his life.

Here, in his own words, Ray, who lives with a learning disability and autism, tells his story on how he went from being unhappy in a shared house, to finally getting his own place with Lifeways, at our Bedwardine Court supported living service in Worcester.

Ray’s story:

My name is Ray and I am 22 years old.

I have a learning disability and spent most of my teenage years in foster care. I remained with my foster family in aftercare until I was 20 and then moved to a supported living shared house.

I found this a difficult place to live because I didn’t get on with anyone else that lived there and most of the staff did not understand what support I need. I didn’t know how to change this situation and became very unhappy for a long time.

At last I plucked up the courage to ask my social worker if I could move to a place of my own. I still needed some support, but I was ready, at 22, to be more independent.

My social worker arranged an assessment with Lifeways - they had a vacancy in a supported living flat. I was nervous about my assessment, but I had no need to be. Jo, the assessor, was very helpful, caring, friendly and, best of all, she used language I could understand.

She listened to me and waited for me to give my answers. I had to talk about my past, but Jo listened and it felt good to talk about the things I had bottled up for years, painful things.

My new home and why I am happy:

  • I finally have my own independence. 
  • I keep my bedroom tidy - this is a new habit!
  • I wake up without worrying about what state the bathroom is in, and if anyone has used up my shower gel.
  • I love not having to share a kitchen and only having a small space in a fridge - and not being watched while I cook and eat.
  • I love cooking for myself - it is easier to eat healthily when I have time to cook.
  • All the staff in my new place are lovely. They treat me like an adult, but are always there to help when I need it.
  • I can make my own decisions about what I do in my own home. I feel happy every day.
  • Moving to my own place was the best thing ever! If you truly pour your heart into what you believe, amazing things can, and will, happen.
  • My life has turned around since I moved to my own flat. Ordinary me can achieve a little extra by doing something extraordinary.

About Lifeways:

Lifeways helps people to lead more fulfilling, independent lives by providing extraordinary support for adults with learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries or mental health needs.

As the UK’s largest team of support professionals providing support for adults in the community, Lifeways supports almost 5,000 individuals living in 1,500 services across England, Scotland and Wales.

Find a service near you, get in touch, or make a referral.

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