My name is Anthony and for many years I lived at home with my mum and dad, but they have both passed away now. When my dad died there was just me and mum for a long time at home. Sadly she too passed away last year.

During this difficult time I was living on my own at home. Managing my life began to get harder and harder for me. People who cared about me, thought I was at Day Services that had been arranged for me but actually I wasn’t. In fact, I hadn’t been to them in nearly eighteen months! I wasn’t eating very well and not really managing to look after myself and my home.

Social workers who were trying to help me decided that I needed to find somewhere else to live and to have support and care that would help me get more control in managing my life and the things that I really want to do. I cannot tell you how scared and shocked I was after living in my house for more than fifty years at the prospect of moving. It seemed impossible at first.

I visited a ubu supported house in Darlington where people are enabled to live more independently but with caring support available when they need it. I felt right at home on my first visit. It was a surprise to everyone. I liked it so much that I wanted to move in right there and then! I had to wait, of course, for a space to become available for me.

I visited regularly in the next two weeks for tea, and then I started coming alone and staying longer each time. I was able to choose my bedroom and the colours I wanted it decorating so that it suited me.

When moving day arrived my family and friends didn’t think I would want to leave my old home. But I surprised them all by having all my bags packed and ready to leave. My goal was to move in to my new home as soon as possible.

There were loads of things that I wanted to achieve straight away. The first thing on my list was a trip to the theatre as I hadn’t been in many years. Anyway I have achieved that now and now I’m ready to find new challenges and experiences. Moving on from my old life has helped me to have a voice and to let people know what I want to do!

My family say that I have gone from a man who stares at his feet and mumbles to a proud man who sticks out his chest and tells people what he wants! I have even told my social worker that I want to go back to work two days a week and that I am ready to do this for the first time in years.