Phyllis’ story

"The carers here are so kind and thoughtful – in fact all the team are wonderful, building such a strong community. It’s what makes supported housing so different. It’s not just the practical support – which is of course wonderful, but it’s also the people, the encouragement they give us all and the real feeling that this is our home."

“I live in Kingfisher Court, Cross Keys Homes’ first extra care scheme, which was opened in 2014. I moved in around six months after it opened and have been here for about two and a half years.

The scheme is fantastic – a real community. And I have really got stuck into the social side of the scheme! We have games day on a Monday, coffee mornings on a Wednesday and once a month we have entertainment of some kind, like singers, musicians or magicians. Oh, and we always have a good knees up for special occasions – our Easter Bonnet competition and party was a huge hit this year.”

Phyllis had previously been living in a sheltered housing scheme in a local town. Phyllis thought the scheme was fantastic, but her daughter lived in Peterborough, and as her health deteriorated she felt increasingly isolated from her family and her daughter worried in case Phyllis had a fall. So, when she saw Kingfisher Court advertised, they both thought it was perfect, and Phyllis says she’s had the best two and a half years since moving in.

“By throwing myself into the social committee, and with the amazing support of Gerardine, the Extra Care Manager and the rest of the team, I no longer feel old and useless. I have a real reason to get up in the morning. People recognise how loneliness and isolation affect older people, but even with friends and family around, you can really feel useless as you get older. I’ve always been a busy person, working as a switchboard operator, and I didn’t take to retirement very well. I now get to meet everyone, residents and visitors, especially when I sit in reception and ‘mug’ people to buy raffle tickets! The only trouble is, I’m so busy, I still don’t get chance to see my daughter, even though she’s only ten minutes away now.”

Phyllis states “Supported housing to me means that I have my own little flat with my own front door, but also the security of knowing help is available if I need it. That really helps me sleep easier at nights. It also helps my family to relax, knowing that I am safe. I can get involved in the social side of the scheme, which keeps me active and gives me a real focus to my life. And I have friends here. People I can chat to when I am feeling a bit low. We have a real laugh here, and there is always a friendly face, both from the amazing team and my wonderful neighbours. Moving here has given me a new lease of life.”

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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