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McAnany Avenue, our South Shields residential service,

Michael, who lives at McAnany Avenue, our South Shields residential service, got a surprise when his support team redecorated his room with a safari theme – complete with a beautiful mural and pictures of animals.

For as long as anyone in his support team could remember, Michael's room had been painted a rather dated shade of terracotta.

On a mission to make Michael's living space homelier, Angelea Hutchison, McAnany Avenue's Registered Manager, said: “Two other people we support have fantastic bedrooms, so it was my mission since I started work at the service for Michael to have a room personal to him,” she said.

Thankfully, Angelea discovered that Michael's life story could inspire a radical change to his surroundings. Michael spent his early childhood in South Africa, living very close to the Kruger National Park wildlife reserve.

Despite the years that have passed, he still retains a few snippets of his native Afrikaans and often greets his father in the language.

Working with her team, Angelea spent a 'day and a bit' to transform Michael's room, working when he was out of the service.

“I couldn't wait to see his face when he came home,” Angelea recalled.

When Michael returned, he spent all afternoon looking at all the details.

And when asked what he thought of the new decor, Michael simply replied with a smile, “I think it looks good, it does.”

It's wonderful to see Michael happy and enjoying his new room!


About Lifeways: 

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

We support adults with diverse and complex needs, including learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries, and mental health conditions. 

 As the supported living sector’s largest team of professionals, Lifeways’ extensive experience and national reach mean we deliver extraordinary support to adults, enabling them to live fulfilling and independent lives 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. 

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