Supported customer Julie, cuddling her pet rabbit

Julie lives in a one-bedroom supported flat in Bedford which she shares with her pet rabbit. She receives support from care staff and our Partnerships team, who work with customers with learning difficulties and/or autism.

Sheena is one of our Partnerships Coordinators. She told us: “Julie struggles with depression and mild learning difficulties, but she wasn’t receiving the support she needed at her previous address. Julie moved into her new flat in March 2022 and she’s very happy there.”

Julie revealed she’d been on a bit of a rollercoaster these past few years: “I was in a toxic relationship and my then partner introduced me to amphetamines and cannabis, which resulted in me losing my children.

“I was so disappointed in myself and I felt so guilty.

“To get this flat, I had to prove I was drug-free, and stay that way. I’m proud to say that I’ve achieved this all by myself. I’m never going back to drugs; I’ve been down that road.

“I’ve been through some really bad times in the past. I lost a baby when I was 18, I’ve self-harmed, taken an overdose and have been on the receiving end of domestic abuse.

“I still have bad days sometimes, but I try to keep busy so I don’t think of the negatives. I know I have support in place, should I need it, and Sheena’s amazing, she’s helped me a lot.

“I did feel a bit sad and lonely when I first moved in, but I was so happy when I was told I could have a pet. I couldn’t wait to get my rabbit; he keeps me company and snuggles on my bed with me at night.

“Life is so much better now. I love this place and I don’t ever want to leave.”