Tina’s story

Tina Malt, 47, has Down’s syndrome and up until a few months ago had lived with her mother all her life.

Initially her Mum Iris was very anxious about Tina moving out for the first time, until they had a viewing at Tolvean House, a scheme for older people with learning disabilities and age-related needs. Here Iris explains the difference she sees in Tina since she moved into her own place in December.

“Tina has only lived at Tolvean House for a few months and I am amazed at the difference. She’s full of confidence and she’s independent. She’s happier than she’s been in a long time.

“She keeps her flat immaculate and loves cooking her own meals. She does her own shopping lists and enjoys picking out her outfits. She’s achieving things that she never would have done if she’d still been at home.

“It was a big wrench for me to let her go because she’s lived with me since she was a baby. I did have some trepidation about her leaving the family home, but when we met the team at Advance and saw Tolvean House we felt really confident it was the right thing to do.

“The scheme is a lovely newly renovated building and it’s only a few minutes’ walk away from me. I obviously miss having Tina around but seeing how she’s thriving makes it all worthwhile. She has her own front door, her independence, she’s part of a community and she has the support she needs.

“Tina has been in a relationship with her partner David for eight years. It’s been lovely for her to have her own place to spend time with him.

“Tina and David have recently had a relationship blessing ceremony at the local church. Tina has always dreamed of walking down the aisle and it was a lovely day to celebrate with all our family and friends. They both had a wonderful day and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

“This is all part of Tina becoming more independent and I’m so proud to see how she’s flourished since moving into her own place at Tolvean House.”

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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