Tony's story

Advance Housing and Support customer, Tony

Tony has been an Advance customer for many years. He has a mild learning disability and suffers from anxiety. He spent around fifteen years living in an Advance-managed supported housing scheme where staff were on duty throughout the day. He could access an on-site office and spend time with the other customers who lived there. At times Tony's anxiety was so great he would smash things in his flat to relieve feelings of tension and frustration. He would often drink heavily and ask strangers for money.

Staff worked with Tony over many years to integrate him into a supported living setting and to build relationships with staff and other customers. He got a part-time job in a supermarket and began to cut down on his drinking.

After some years, Tony felt ready to become more independent and decided to move into a flat in the local community. He began to receive support in his own home a few times each week from our paid staff team and daily support from a live-in volunteer. He shares the flat with another Advance customer.

Staff realised that routine was very important for Tony to feel stable and reassured. Working with Tony's volunteer, support staff introduced a programme of regular daily activities that allowed Tony to make choices and feel in control. As a result he gained more self-confidence and completely stopped drinking.

Support Workers still visit Tony at home to help him with budgeting, medical appointments and give him advice. He is able to visit the local Advance office when he needs to. The support Tony receives from the people who volunteer with him has been invaluable and has been of huge benefit to his independence, stability and safety. Tony makes his own choices. He always has people around he can talk to or spend time with.

"I am happy most of the time. I enjoy meeting people and really like all of the volunteers and Advance staff. I'm doing very well in my life."

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