Finding community with MTVH – Florence’s story

18 December 2020

Summary: At MTVH, we’re proud of the work our frontline teams have done to maintain vital services for our customers throughout the pandemic.

As residents at Station Road, our independent living service for people with learning disabilities in Twickenham, were decorating for Christmas and looking ahead to the New Year, we spoke to resident Florence Garrett to hear her reflections on how MTVH and her Station Road community have supported her to live well this year. The team at Station Road work to promote and maintain independent living and connect residents to appropriate services, with a view to them living entirely independently in the local community in time.

Please tell us a bit about your home at Station Road and how you came to live there?
I love living at Station Road and all the staff who support me. I found out about the house through my social worker in December 2019 and have been living here since February with four housemates.

What does a typical day look like for you at Station Road?
On a normal day, I go to work from 11am to 1pm and then have time to relax with my housemates. I get help from MTVH staff with cooking, cleaning my room and doing laundry. There is lots of time to chat with them which I find to be a great support, especially the encouragement to exercise and go to the gym!

What are some of your favourite moments from your time living at Station Road?
One of my favourite moments was when I got my first volunteering job. I am currently volunteering at a swimming pool, teaching disabled swimmers. This has been a great experience and has improved my own confidence with swimming! I also really enjoy spending time together with my housemates, doing activities like watching films – that’s probably one of my favourite things about service!

Do you have any advice for other people moving into supported living?
Yes! I would tell them not to worry or be nervous. All of the staff are really nice and they will help you to settle in.

How was your life at Station Road impacted by lockdown?
I was nervous going into lockdown. It was hard to think about not seeing family or missing out on activities I really enjoy. With support of the service staff at MTVH, I have been able to remain positive and keep my life as normal as possible. The support of my housemates has also really helped me to stay happy – we are all friends and have spent a lot of time together over the pandemic doing activities like baking!

How are you feeling moving into the New Year?
I am feeling good about 2021. This week I have spent time decorating the house for Christmas with my housemate George which I really enjoyed and I am looking forward to February when I’ll have been living here for a whole year. Living at Station Road has changed my life because it has allowed me to be more independent and make more decisions by myself.