Supported customer Carl, outside his home

Carl, 39, is one of our customers who’s in need of some extra support from our Partnerships team.

Carl had been living with his mum, but as she was getting older, it was decided that it would be a good idea for him to live more independently and in 2019, he moved into his one-bedroom flat in Bedfordshire.

Sheena is one of Partnerships Coordinators, working with customers with learning difficulties and/or autism.

“Carl was struggling to maintain his flat and was resisting keeping his support times. We issued him with warnings, and it looked as though we might have to start looking for alternative accommodation for him.

“Then in 2021, I issued Carl with something called a behavioural contract. This meant I’d be visiting Carl more often and carrying out health and safety checks each time.”

Carl told us: “This was the kick up the backside I needed.

“When I moved in, I wasn’t a tidy person and I had a lot of problems. I wouldn’t listen to anyone, not even my family.

“At first, I was disappointed that I’d been issued with the contract, but then I listened to Sheena and my support workers and accepted it.

“I suffer with anxiety and depression and have really struggled over the years. I take medication to help, and all the care staff remind me that they’re here if I need help or advice.

“I was unhappy at my mum’s; I couldn’t be me. I love my flat because it gives me the freedom to be who I want to be.

“I am human – I’m stubborn, and I get annoyed sometimes, but I’m also very capable and have a lot to offer.

“I would really like to get a job and my ultimate aim is to get ready to move on to a new place in the community. This year has been particularly tough, so I’m not doing anything about that right now as I want to make the decision that’s right for me.”

Carl has lots of hobbies and interests; he loves to go out in Milton Keynes, enjoys watching films – anything from horror to Disney – and documentaries about health. He also likes reading and going out for walks, which he says keeps him calm.

“I was brought up in care, but my grandparents were a big part of my life growing up and they taught me a lot. I’m close to my family, especially my niece and nephew.

“When my grandparents died, I went off the rails a bit. I was smoking cannabis and not taking my prescribed medication. I got evicted from my previous flat because I didn’t keep it tidy and I wouldn’t accept any support.

“I might have been on a rocky road then, but I’ve bounced back. Living here is brilliant!

“When I look back at the way I used to be, to how I am now, I can’t believe how far I’ve come.”