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Golden Lane Housing - Housing you can build your life around

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My first home by Kelly, Claire, Francis and Alice


After learning skills to live independently Kelly, Claire, Francis and Alice wanted to share a place together.

“We all lived at home with our parents, life was good but there comes a time where you want to do things for yourself. All of us had decided we wanted to share somewhere with friends. A couple of us lived in areas which are very quiet but we wanted to do more activities and have lots of fun!

Three of us knew each other from college or the enterprise scheme and we got to know Alice before we moved in together. We had been taught how to do things around the house by our parents and learnt more skills when we went to college or as part of an enterprise scheme. This just made us want to have our own place even more.

Our parents helped us to get in contact with Mencap and Golden Lane Housing. We went to a few meetings and decided we wanted to live together. All of us wanted to live in Street, in Somerset, it’s lively and close to everything so we started looking.

When we came to see the bungalow, we fell in love with it straight away, it’s so pretty. Our parents live quite close and it near to our voluntary work and other activities we do. We all chose our bedrooms and Golden Lane Housing did some work to the inside and outside of the house including a ramp. Before we knew it the work was finished and we were moving in.

Mencap are supporting us, the staff are such a laugh and they look out for us and we feel safe. We’re learning to do more things for ourselves at home and have started go to the shops on our own. It’s great. We decided to move in over a week, Kelly and Claire moved in first with the staff. On the first night we were talking to each other from our rooms and hardly slept! Then Francis moved in a day later and then Alice moved in at the weekend. It was great choosing all our own furniture and putting everything where we wanted around the house. We all helped each other unpack. It was strange at first, we’d never lived with friends but we soon got use to it. There have been a few ups and downs as people got to know each but everything is fine now.

We all love having our independence.

To celebrate moving in we had a house warming party, all our family and friends came, and there was loads of people, such a fun time.

Now we can’t ever imagine living with our parents again, it’s great to visit them but this is our home and we love it!” said Claire, Kelly, Francis and Alice, Golden Lane Housing tenants.

Share your stories with Mencap

Are you inspired by Kelly, Claire, Francis and Alice’s story about living with friends for the first time? Have you had a similar experience? What challenges did you face to live independently? Were you excited? If so, Mencap would like to hear from you! Share your stories with Mencap below.

To find out more information about Learning Disability Week 2014 visit Mencap’s website and follow Mencap and Golden Lane Housing on Twitter and share your stories using the hashtag #LDWeek14