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Evelena Van-Dijk

Since moving into her own supported housing flat, Evelena’s life has been transformed and she is living each day to the fullest.

Old Milton Road resident Evelena Van-Dijk

48-year-old Evelena, who lives with a learning disability and mental health needs, moved into Sanctuary Supported Living’s Old Milton Road in March 2019.

At Old Milton Road Sanctuary Supported Living provides accommodation with CQC registered personal care for residents who need it. Evelena previously lived in shared accommodation, and has a background of aggression and self-harm.

Evelena said: “I found it really hard having to be with other people all of the time, it made me feel very stressed – but when I moved to Old Milton Road, everything changed.”

After being assessed by the service’s manager, Evelena was thrilled to be given her own flat, and even more delighted that she could decorate it however she wished. She said: “I couldn’t believe it! I fell in love with my flat as soon as I saw it and I’ve made it really homely. I don’t want to leave it.”

Thriving in her own space, with social interaction when she wants it, Evelena has gone from strength-to-strength. Having always suffered from severe self image issues, the coronavirus lockdown could have been devastating for her, but the staff’s efforts to involve her in the way she chooses has meant she has new found security and self-confidence.

Alison Notman, Local Service Manager at Old Milton Road said: “We love a party here - at a recent red carpet event (where we actually used a green carpet!) we saw how confident Evelena has become when she strutted down the carpet – it’s so nice to see her like this.”

Evelena commented: “Lockdown wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I’m eating healthily and I feel so much better, my sister was amazed at the difference once I was able to see her again.

“I’ve finally accepted myself for who I am and I hope I’ve found a home for life.”

Lockdown wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I’m eating healthily and I feel so much better, my sister was amazed at the difference once I was able to see her again.

Evelena, resident at Old Milton Road

To find out more about how we support people with learning disabilities, see our disability page or read more resident stories.

Download a PDF version of this story (PDF 423KB).

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