Nick's story

Advance Houing customer, Nick

Nick, now in his mid 20s, looks back on a difficult time in his life when he was 17. As a teenager he developed severe depression and as his behaviour at home and school deteriorated, he ended up committing a serious crime. As Nick explains, ‘I felt such shame and remorse afterwards with what I had done that I was suicidal and admitted to a mental health rehabilitation unit’. Nick stayed at the unit for a year and received intensive support to help him deal with his depression.

When Nick felt ready to take his next step towards independence, he decided to move to a local shared property owned and run by Advance. Nick says ‘when I moved in, that’s when everything changed’.

Supported living gave Nick the opportunity to live independently in his own flat, whilst having the support he needed. Working with his Regional Housing Officer, Nick received help with things like claiming the benefits he was entitled to, paying bills and maintaining his tenancy. Once he’d settled in, he felt confident enough to apply for a place at college.

After a year in his new home, and having completed his first year at catering college, Nick felt ready to move on to a place of his own. Because of the range of housing options that we offer, Nick was able to move into an independent, modern flat owned by Advance. The property was chosen because it met his needs, whilst being close by to his family and friends.

Nick has grown in confidence, and explains ‘I only need one hour of support a week now, and soon I won’t need any support at all’.

Reflecting on the help he has had, Nick is clear that he would never be where he is today without Advance. ‘Advance gave me the chance to turn my life around. I am at college studying Level 2 English and Maths, and building confidence courses. I am still living independently and me and my partner want to move in and build our future together. As for job wise I want to be an animal breeder and I am studying this too.’

Nick wants to use his experience to help other people who are overwhelmed by depression and unable to see a future for their self. "I want to help other people see that things can be better."

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