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1st September 2022

Sanctuary Supported Living

NCS gardening volunteer holds hands with a resident, who is a wheelchair user, in the garden

The support provided by staff at Hilltop House has been consistently excellent over the five years that Teresa has lived there.

Teresa – who moved into the Sanctuary Supported Living-owned service in Bury St Edmunds in January 2017 – was supported by its staff to reconcile with her parents in 2019, following more than 20 years of no contact. She said: “To see them again was amazing. Now that my parents have been to visit me, they can see for themselves how happy I am here.”

Teresa came to Hilltop House following a recommendation from her social worker and quickly settled into life at the service.

Teresa commented: “My social worker told me how Hilltop House met her ‘Mum Test’ – it’s warm, friendly and she’d be happy for one of her loved ones to live here. And she was right.”

The 57-year-old, who lives with physical and learning disabilities, has become the service’s manual handling champion and regularly takes part in staff training.

I’m able to have my own space and have control over my choices, which is really important to me.

Sanctuary Supported Living Customer, Teresa

Teresa said: “I’m able to have my own space and have control over my choices, which is really important to me. I also have an input into the running of the service and my opinion is valued, which is a real boost to my self-esteem.”

In 2020, when the whole country went into lockdown, Teresa made the best of every day and remained positive throughout.

Whilst undergoing some hospital treatment, Teresa contracted Covid, but in trooper-Teresa style, she got through it with minor symptoms and always with a smile.

As she quickly recovered, she made short work of all the treats that had been sent to Hilltop House by local businesses and enjoyed reading all the beautiful letters of hope and love sent by the local primary school.

She had a lockdown birthday in style – proudly wearing her birthday tiara and having a blast on the karaoke.

Now the pandemic is over, Teresa looks back on her lockdown experience and reflects that the shared experience has brought her closer together with everyone.