A man who has spent most of his life adult life living in care services and hospitals across the country is now leading an independent life in the community in rural Lincolnshire.
Martin, who has a number of physical and mental health needs, is now being supported to live in his own self-contained one-bedroom bungalow on the outskirts of Holbeach.
The 36-year-old enjoys helping staff at Willoughby Lodge – run by care provider Regard – around the house and garden, baking and meeting up with friends.
Regard locality manager Katrina Greff said: “Martin is quite a character. When he first came here he said he was so happy that every day was like Christmas Day.
“He loves to go out and about seeing the sights, and visiting the seaside at Skegness and Great Yarmouth. He is a real ‘people person’ and is the life and soul wherever he goes.
“For someone who has spent most of his life in care units, to see him settled in his own home, living his own life, and making his own decisions is inspiring.
“Since moving into Willoughby Lodge, Martin has been on holiday, had barbecues and parties at his flat, and is planning a holiday with one of his friends.
“It may all seem like simple things to most people, but they are so important to Martin, and are things he was unable to do before.”
Martin has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, a mild learning disability, complex needs and is fed directly into his stomach through a special ‘peg’ device.
Over the past year, the service has focussed on developing Martin’s independent living skills, which include managing his own medication, washing his clothes and keeping his home clean and tidy.
Kat Greff said: “Although he is unable to eat food himself, he adores baking for other people or having a barbecue. He absolutely delights in preparing things for people to enjoy.”
Since he moved to the service Martin has made a close friend, who lives at Regard’s Roman House service four miles away, and the pair regularly meet up.
Willoughby Lodge is a service for people with learning disabilities or mental health needs. It can also support individuals with physical disabilities.
Martin’s bungalow is one of three supported living units on the site and is staffed round the clock. It is aimed at people moving from residential care or their family home.
A video that shows how far Martin has come has been made by NHS Transforming Care. https://youtu.be/VC1kQUkVUzM.
Regard, the organisation behind Willoughby Lodge, provides supported living and residential services for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury, and cares for more than 1,100 people, with a dedicated staff of over 2,200 across 149 locations throughout the UK.