My name is Wayne. I live independently on the outskirts of Leeds in my own flat supported and enabled by ubu. I love my flat and since moving in I think that I have made some fantastic progress in my life.

In the past I found dealing with change difficult. A few months ago my neighbour moved away. I’d lived next door to him for a long time. His move really upset me.

I don’t have a lot of confidence and find it hard to make friends easily. He and I had become close friends and so when he left, I found myself having a lot of time on my hands. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I felt lonely and I didn’t like feeling like this. So I asked the ubu enabling team to help me to find new activities in my community so that I could feel less on my own and to gain confidence.

I needed to find new things I could become interested in and could do with other people. I wanted to meet new friends. I was finding it hard to leave my flat. So I knew if I wanted to change how I was feeling I should start off by taking small steps.

I began by taking trips to the nearby shops and around my local community. The ubu enabling team encouraged me to do this. It didn’t take long until I wanted to go further afield. I decided to take some trips down the canal through the centre of Leeds. After a few months of getting myself out there I even went to an 80’s weekend festival!

I love cooking, and so I took went to a Jamie Oliver Food workshop in Leeds Market where I learnt some new recipes and skills. It was great fun and I made some healthy meals and a sweet treat or two.

It was good chance for me to spend some time with other people and be a bit more sociable. I made a new friend there who it turns out, also lives in my building. We found that we have shared interests in common and we now spend a lot of time together. We regularly go out bowling and every week we have a friendly competition to see who will get the best score and to improve our game.

I have always been a massive Rugby fan. I support the Leeds Rhinos and I have started going to games at home and away.

I’m really proud of the progress I have made and where I am now in my life. I’ve got my confidence back and I’m planning even more adventurous days out in the future. I am starting to build friendships and take on new challenges.