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Steve Aust

A resident from a Sanctuary Supported Living (SSL) housing service in New Milton is celebrating his independence on his 30th anniversary of living there.

Old Milton Road resident Steve Aust

Steve Aust, who moved into the accommodation for adults with learning disabilities in 1988, has been living at the service since it first opened its doors.

He said: “Until I was 23 I was at home with my parents, and I moved in to the shared house at New Milton after deciding I wanted to be a bit more independent.”

Five years later in 1993, some self-contained flats were added to the service, and Steve jumped at the chance to move into his own home.

Steve commented: “At first I shared with a friend, but after a while I decided I’d like to have my own apartment, which is where I live now.”

The 53-year-old has been helped by staff to learn a range of new skills, but still has their full support to complete tasks he needs further assistance with.

He explained: “I can do lots of things for myself, but the staff are there to help me with whatever I need. This includes things like completing official paperwork, managing my money, healthcare and keeping my flat clean and safe.”

Wanting to give back to the community he felt he really belonged in, Steve now volunteers at a local charity shop. He also takes part in a range of exciting activities through a community access group and spends time with his girlfriend who lives nearby.

He said: “My mum and dad have both passed away now, but they were so glad to see me happy in my own home. I love living in my flat and I’m so proud to have been independent for 30 years.”

SSL’s local service manager Alison Notman added: “To see Steve so settled here means a lot to all of us, and with his positive view of the world he provides daily inspiration to fellow residents and staff alike.”

I love living in my flat and I’m so proud to have been independent for 30 years.

SSL Resident, Steve Aust

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