The service is able to support individuals from the age of 17 as part of a transitional model of support we promote at Regard.
For Joseph Osoba and his team at our supported living service in Penge, while it tugs at the heart-strings to say ‘goodbye’ to the individuals they support when they move out and start living independently, it is also a time for celebration.
“They all have learning disabilities and associated mental health issues, and they come to us for support in learning the skills that will enable them to live on their own, so when they’re ready to move on, it means we’ve done our job,’ Joseph said, “but it’s always hard to see them go.”
The latest success story from Joseph’s service, Crystal House, is Harrison, who lived at the service for just over a year.
Joseph said: “Harrison has learning difficulties and epilepsy, and is partially-sighted. He needed support to become self-sufficient with medication, as well as with other aspects of looking after himself.”
Travelling to and from college to study computing was one of the first things Joseph’s team helped Harrison to manage independently.
“At the beginning one of us would go on public transport with him, then we shadowed him until we were confident he was ‘travel-trained’ and able to make the journey safely on his own,” said Joseph.
Once the Crystal House staff and Harrison’s social services liaison officer were satisfied he was ready to ‘fly solo,’ they sorted an outreach package for him which enabled him to move out into his own flat, within walking distance of the home of a much-loved sister.
Joseph Osoba, said: “Now three of the other people who live with us are celebrating personal achievements, so it’s a very happy start to 2017 at Crystal House.”
For Lucille, who arrived in July 2014 straight from her family home, the move was ‘a big thing.’ Since her arrival she has attended Bromley College and Croydon College to study cookery, step-up to work, maths, English and daily living skills. She currently spends one day a week studying and two days doing work experience at a Shelter charity shop.
House-mate, Gavin, has been doing voluntary work at various charity shops locally. He was recently supported to get a certified copy of his birth certificate and obtain a passport, in the hopes of foreign travel at some point in the future.
In November, Rebecca, was delighted to receive an award from the Mayor of Croydon for her outstanding achievement in college during the past year. Rebecca came to the service in September and currently attends Croydon Adult Learning and Training College where her activities include rambling, creative computers, advanced cookery, dance, healthy living, and developing independence. With staff support she also attends a sporting activity organised by the Royal London Society for Blind People two Saturdays every month at Crystal Palace.
Rebecca said: “I feel really good living at Crystal House. The staff help me with my college work - they are very good to me and the other tenants. Our last holiday to Blackpool was great - my lovely keyworker and other support workers ensured we had the best of times.”
Joseph Osoba said: “We have a great team and feel privileged to support some wonderful people, so we’re keen to share news of their achievements with their community.”
To mark Crystal House’s third anniversary of operation in 2017, staff and service users are planning a house party in May, to which they will be inviting families, friends and social workers as well as people who live at other Regard services.
The seven bedroom property provides a home for people aged between 18 and 28.
There is currently one first floor en-suite room available at Crystal House, which is located close to local shops and amenities in Penge and has good transport links to places further afield.
Further information is available from Rod Brizzell on 07885 998 240 or visit the service page below.