Dreena’s story

The value of having people around me was clear when I had a stroke.

Supported housing gives Dreena the security she needs to live independently. This is her story.

“My marriage broke down three years before retirement. I decided to have a year out once I had retired, travelling and working out what to do next. I had always been around the Oxfordshire, so that was the obvious place to return to when I had to get back into some kind of routine.

I was amazed and delighted that I was eligible for social housing with all the security that has brought. The value of having people around me was clear when I had a stroke within a year of moving in.

Private renting would have been possible for me – just – but without the security of tenure I enjoy here at St Mary’s. An affordable rent also means I can save to travel to spend time with family who live across the UK and the other side of the world.

I arrived at St Mary’s knowing no one – even the village was new to me – so I had a built-in community straight away. Being a Soha tenant has meant I have a secure foundation to immerse myself in making new friendships but also to get involved with Soha (I am a Tenant Scrutiny Group member amongst other things). In short, I have a sanctuary here, a place where I can close my own front door but never have to be entirely alone”.

Help raise awareness

Thousands of people have gained their independence through supported housing. The Starts at Home campaign aims to ensure that people who need extra support will always have a home that meets their needs.

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