Recycling Lives Resident turns his life around in just 11 weeks
March 6, 2012
Recycling Lives Resident, Brian Blundell, has moved back into independent living after just 11 weeks at the charity’s Essex Street centre. Brian moved into the charity community in November of last year. Brian had previously been living in Northern Ireland, although he was born in Preston, and was referred to the project by Recycling Lives’ main referral partner, Barnardo’s.
Brian had many issues to address when he arrived, and several health concerns. When the ethos and purpose of the Recycling Lives charity programme was explained to him, Brian was enthusiastic and ready to get involved with the opportunities on offer.
Since then, Brian has been a joy to have as a member of the charity programme and a real positive influence. Brian is a great example of someone who is ready to help himself. He jumped at the chance to take part in the Recycling Lives programme and, as soon as he’d moved in, was eager to start his work placements within the organisation. Brian has never asked to be treated any different from the other residents and has performed every task he’s been assigned to the best of his ability – a testament to his strong work ethic and can-do attitude.
Shortly after his arrival at Recycling Lives, Brian set to work on his personal development plan. During his time at Recycling Lives, he also completed two stages of the usual six stage process and several work placements, helped clean the commercial side of the building and made sure the outside of the building was always clean and tidy. Brian fully engaged with the support network of the charity, addressing all his concerns with the staff there and taking on board that the team was there to help.
When it came to looking for housing options, Brian was encouraged to register with Select Move and begin bidding for properties in the area. As Recycling Lives has built up close links with Community Gateway, the association is keen to assist in finding accommodation for Residents when they’re ready to move on. While many disadvantaged individuals, who have perhaps had a troubled background, believe that they will be ineligible for housing, Julie Wright, Housing Officer at Community Gateway, noted that Recycling Lives Residents are a good choice for tenancy in their properties. Sure enough, Brian was offered a flat in Grange, which has been modernised with a new bathroom, kitchen and central heating system.
To help Brian on his way, the charity team helped him to complete an application for a community care grant – a payment that allows people to purchase a few essential items for their new accommodation. Brian received £500, and, with the assistance of Gift 92, purchased all the furniture he needed. He’s now ready to leave the charity and move into independent living.
Normally, Recycling Lives’ charity team encourages all Residents to secure full-time employment before they leave the charity. In Brian’s case, the team has done things in reverse. Brian now has the skills and self-confidence to go out and succeed in his chosen community, and comfortable accommodation within his budget. From next month, he’ll be working with a specialised team at the Job Centre to secure a voluntary work placement with a view of full time employment at the end of the training. This arrangement is perfect for Brian and will be the final part of the collaboration between all the organisations and services that have assisted Brian over the last 11 weeks.
Recycling Lives continue to work with Brian for a further 3 months, monitoring his progress at weekly meetings and offering additional support as required. After this – if appropriate – he will be referred to one of the organisation’s community partners and will work with a floating support service to for a longer period. As Brian is living in a Community Gateway property, their specialised support worker is already on hand to assist Brian with any concerns as he settles into his new community.
Brian has been a pleasure to work with in the charity and the charity staff have only positive comments to make about him. He has shown the other Residents that it is possible to succeed within the charity if you work consistently within the support framework of the project.
The whole team at Recycling Lives would like to say a big “Well done!” to Brian for working so hard and achieving so much, and a big thank-you to his support worker, Terrie Corrin, for all the assistance she gave while Brian was at the charity.