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Dennis Matthews

The life of a former supported housing resident has been posthumously celebrated by his brother, who commended staff for the support they provided.

Sanctuary Supported Living resident Dennis

Barry Matthews, whose brother Dennis Matthews received support from staff at two Sanctuary Supported Living services in Blackburn, has donated £1,000 to the services in appreciation of the team’s work.

Dennis moved to Roebuck Close – which provides accommodation and support to people who have mental health needs – in March 2016, with a history of living in poor quality housing and with poor mental health.

With support from staff, Dennis gained confidence and learned the skills needed to live independently, including managing money and sustaining a tenancy, as well as focusing on his mental health recovery. Dennis went from strength-to-strength and in April 2018, he moved to his own flat in sheltered accommodation.

While living in his own flat, Dennis received support from Sanctuary Supported Living‘s Blackburn Floating Support service, including support with setting up direct debits and accessing housing benefits. He continued to socialise with residents at Roebuck Close and staff described his sense of humour as infectious. Staff were pleased to finally see Denis settled in his own home and his mental health stable, after so many years of living in poor conditions without any support.

Staff continued to support Dennis during the coronavirus lockdown by registering him for a weekly food parcel and by making weekly telephone calls to check on his wellbeing and that he wasn’t feeling isolated. However, in time he became very ill and was admitted to hospital, where he sadly passed away.

At this time staff supported Dennis’ brother, Barry, with making the relevant notifications about Dennis’ death. Sanctuary Supported Living staff were kindly invited to attend the funeral and were recognised for all the support they had provided.

The £1,000 kindly donated by Barry will be used to benefit the residents at Roebuck Close.

Barry said: “Thanks to the dedication of the staff at Roebuck Close and Blackburn Floating Support, Dennis was settled and stable in his own home before he sadly passed away, and I know that meant so much to him. I’m really grateful to the team for the support they gave me when my brother died. They helped Dennis to become an independent man who felt truly secure for the last years of his life.”

Tina Flatley, Local Service Manager added: “Dennis’ goal was to move to a permanent home of his own, and I’m proud that we helped him to achieve it. We are so grateful to Dennis’s brother, Barry, for his very generous donation which will be very much appreciated by our residents.”

Dennis’ goal was to move to a permanent home of his own, and I’m proud that we helped him to achieve it.

Tina Flatley, Local Service Manager, Blackburn

For more information about Sanctuary Supported Living’s mental health and homeless services, read resident stories or find a service near you.

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