June

Hi. My name is June. 

My partner John and I spent many wonderful years together, surrounded by family, and friends. We had a happy, active social life in and around the Lincoln area. We shared a house filled with laughter and an extensive Elvis Presley collection. Everything was going well, and I was content with my life. 

At the beginning of 2013 though, things started to go wrong. First, I became ill and was later diagnosed with breast cancer. I underwent major surgery and chemotherapy. It was an extremely difficult time. But worse still, at the same time my John also became ill and sadly passed away in November of that year. This left me not just grieving for my life partner, but ultimately homeless due to circumstances beyond my control. I felt I lost everything. 

As I have mild learning difficulties, Social Services arranged a temporary placement into a residential care home. This wasn’t the most suitable situation; but, with no other options available at the time I had no choice but to move in. Living at the care home made me anxious, unhappy, and feeling trapped. I was desperate to have my own home once again and to build some sort of life without John. This is when ubu came to help. 

ubu met with me in January, helped assess my needs, and asked me what I wanted to happen to make my life better. It was difficult to fully express my sadness and feeling of loss, but they understood, and put a plan of action in place to help me rebuild.

I received the keys to my new flat on 24th March 2014. Assisted by my Care Manager, ubu’s enabling team moved all my belongings -- including hundreds of items of my precious Elvis memorabilia -- into the flat. I had my own little place again, but something was still missing.

After several weeks of settling in, we took some flowers to John’s grave. This helped me to open up and to speak about him more and more. Soon after, I was asking for support to visit my family and friends again. 

My enablers felt I needed to find other positive experiences, not only to encourage me into enjoying and socialising again, but to enhance my new life. They approached local shops on my behalf looking for any voluntary employment. This was successful and resulted in my attending an interview supported by the team. I got the job working at a charity shop two days a week, helping people with mental health issues. Life is changing back for the better. My sister and family have been round for Sunday lunch, but now it’s an early night ready for work Monday morning.

Now remember the Elvis bit? There is a gentleman in our Nottingham service who is equally obsessed with Elvis.  So the ubu teams in Lincoln and Nottingham arranged for us to meet up and have lunch together. We have lots to talk about… pictures, DVDs, outfits, both of our flats full of Elvis! Just this week, I went to an Elvis tribute night in Lincoln supported by ubu. It was great fun. 

How life can change in such a short time: new home, new friends, new job, and (fingers crossed for) a clean bill of health.  Thank you, ubu enabling team, for helping me to make it happen.