Nicky makes the most of first home of his own

21 April 2017

A Middlesbrough man who once faced 24-hour support is now living in his own flat, choosing his own meals and managing his own social opportunities after just three months in supported housing.

Nicky Cooper living in his own flat

Nicky Cooper, 41, was referred to Sanctuary Supported Living’s Romanby Crescent on account of his limited mobility, poor eyesight and learning disability.

His needs were so severe when first referred to the service in December that social workers had initially believed he’d require 24-hour care.

Instead, Nicky – who had only ever previously lived in family members’ homes – exceeded all expectations and, with the help of support workers, to better deal with his limited mobility and develop more independence.

In comparison to the one bedroom he had in his family home previously, at Romanby Crescent, Nicky has his own flat with a spacious bedroom, open plan kitchen, dining and lounge area and ensuite bathroom.

When first arriving at Romanby Crescent, Nicky’s diet was so poor he was subsiding solely on junk food, such as microwave burgers, crisps and toast with no fruit and vegetables.

Staff at the service worked with him to draw up a personalised support plan, which includes a balanced diet, social opportunities and time management, such as setting an alarm on his phone to keep him aware of when his support worker will next be visiting.

In addition to keeping up his passion for pool, which he plays on days out with his parents, Nicky also takes the time to do bingo calling at Barnaby House, a retirement living scheme on the same development as Romanby Crescent, where he’s since made new friends.

Local service manager Rebekah McClelland will also be taking Nicky to see an optician for the first time to better understand the limits of his vision, with the pair both getting their eyes tested together.

Deputy manager Jane Adams said: “When Nicky first arrived here, the belief until that point would be that he would need 24-hour support, rather than just the few hours a week he’s since shown to require.

“Instead, he’s excelled himself; he used to have quite a poor diet; he’s now someone who gets his five a day and has become much more socially active – taking every opportunity to get out and about meeting new people.

“While he will need support with cooking his meals, Nicky is now preparing a lot of the ingredients himself and choosing which nutritious meals he’ll be eating for the week.

We’re very much supporting him to have a much greater degree of independence than was thought possible before he moved in.

Jane Adams, Deputy Scheme Manager

“We’re very much supporting him to have a much greater degree of independence than was thought possible before he moved in.”

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Sanctuary Supported Living is a trading name of Sanctuary Housing Association and Sanctuary Home Care Limited, both exempt charities. Images used on our website and literature may be representative and are for illustration purposes only.

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