- by Rebecca, Ronnie's Specialist Support Worker
It's just nice to have help from people who are willing to help me no matter what it is. I appreciate you being there, without you I don’t know where I would have been.
After receiving a referral from a Housing Solutions Officer in the Prison Discharge Team at Manchester City Council, we met with Ronnie who shared a number of worries with us about his housing and health.
We supported Ronnie to access an emergency dentist, register with a local GP and manage his prescriptions. We also supported him with managing his hospital letters and booking online medical appointments. He is sometimes hesitant to reach out for medical support, so being supported to access appointments has prevented his health from declining.
“I could never understand some of the mail, I could never understand the jargon that housing or other places have said to me, without their help so they’ve been there as a voice, and an ear for me as well"
We started bidding on properties via Manchester Move on his behalf he said “this is the first time in a long time that I’ve felt positive”. He would have struggled to do this by himself as he doesn't have internet access in his accommodation. Four months after we began bidding on properties, he was offered a flat in sheltered accommodation. We supported him with the move, attending the tenancy sign up, and meeting with the compliance team. The Compliance Officer addressed his offences sensitively and reassured him that staff at the accommodation wouldn’t be informed of his offences, which also reduced his anxiety.
"They’ve listened, they’ve been there, and no matter when I’ve phoned up or what questions I’ve asked, they’ve always responded and sorted things out for me straight away, which I could never sort out for myself"
We supported him in applying for PIP, purchased a birth certificate for him so he had ID, and applied for the Salford Assist Household Support Fund, which gave him a £100 food shopping voucher. We also applied for a bus pass to enable free travel, which has given him more independence. As he had no furniture or funds to furnish his flat or put in flooring, we applied for funding from Real Change MCR. We were extremely grateful when we were awarded £876 to furnish the flat with items Ronnie could choose for himself.
"They sorted me out with carpets, curtains, a cooker and they’re still ongoing. They’re still there which is invaluable help because I wouldn’t be able to cope on my own"
Ronnie has had counselling in the past and found it helpful, so we referred him to Age UK and he has now completed his therapy sessions. The first time we visited him in his new flat, he proudly offered us a cup of tea and we could see the change in him; from a very anxious, timid person to a happy, more confident person, which was lovely to see. His confidence has continued to grow as we’ve supported him and encouraged independence, while allowing him to take each step at his pace.
"I have mental health issues and physical issues and it's just nice to have help from people who are willing to help me no matter what it is. I appreciate you being there, without you I don’t know where I would have been”