Marvin moved to Sanctuary Supported Living (SSL) in October 2016.
He’s 20 years old and had been receiving support for anxiety and depression whilst living at a YMCA hostel for 11 months.
When he moved into supported housing, Marvin drew up a personalised support plan with staff to help address his high levels of anxiety and set his goals for the future. Through regular support sessions, Marvin has been encouraged to engage with people and attend events, taking a Prince’s Trust course in 2017 and later registering for an IT course, as well as a Level One in Maths and English.
He said: “I was in a bad place, basically; I think it stemmed from when I was mugged on the way to an B&B. I didn’t want to go out much after that, and I think that’s when my anxiety really started. I literally couldn’t do anything – I couldn’t go out in public and I couldn’t be around people.”
One year on from his arrival at the service, Marvin is now bidding on social housing in the area, with a view to moving on and living independently.
He added: “It’s good; I feel I can talk to people much better. When I first came here, I was afraid to come down and talk to staff – I had to prepare myself to meet anyone. Now I feel much more confident in myself and a lot more self-assured.
“Staff are amazing and don’t give up, even when you may want to. They help empower you to try to make the right choices in life and, even if the choices you make are not the right choices at the time, they are still there, which I now really appreciate.”