Andrew and Joel live in Essex. Chloe Dolce, scheme manager at Mencap explains how their friendship has developed.
“Andrew moved in 18 months ago, and they hit it off straight away. Andrew and Joel have got similar personalities, very playful and practical jokers. They share with two others in the main house and they’re also friends with the people who live in the two flats.
Having friends is important for everyone, people can often become isolated and lonely which can also lead to depression. We’ve always encouraged people to do activities together or something they enjoy which gives them the opportunity to meet other people too.
Joel and Andrew really enjoy spending time together either relaxing and chatting or doing activities. It’s been great to see their friendship develop and grow. They’ve got a strong bond, and really miss each other if one of them goes on holiday but as soon as they come back, they’re back to being joyful again.
They have some common interests too, with a love for cars, drumming and learning to cook at college. We’ll often go to car showrooms to look at the latest car that has come out or some of the classics. Not long after Andrew moved in they started having drumming lessons every week at the house with Adrian and Joe. We arranged for Alistair from Musica to come along, they have great fun making new rhythms through words they have chosen.
Everyone in the house already grows their own vegetables in the greenhouse. Now, they’ve decided they’d like to have chickens so they can cook their own eggs. We’ve just bought the chicken coop, and once it’s been built we’ll be getting four chickens – they’re just deciding on their names!”
Andrew says, “I really like living with Joel, we’re good friends and we have fun!”
Alistair Hentry, drum teacher from Musica says, “I started teaching Andrew, Joel, Adrian and Joe 18 months ago. It’s been great to see the progression as they put forward the ideas for the rhythms which makes them become more confident and has improved their communication. Music has such a positive effect, it brings people together and I’ve seen it transform lives.”