Living with a mental health condition can have monumental effects on a person. Difficulty holding down a job, broken-down relationships and, ultimately, homelessness. At National Housing Group we create homes so that people living through addiction, mental illness or ill health have a safe place to call their own. At Mawney Road, we have transformed neighbouring properties into safe homes for members of our community who need some extra support, like Lyndsay.
We curated Mawney Road to provide spacious and private living for local people. Each of our residents has their own unit, complete with kitchenette and en suite, communal living spaces, big gardens and in-house support from a local housing association. We continue to work closely with the support team there, who are doing wonderful things in the way of helping residents to live safe, independent, and happy lives.
Poor quality housing can be extremely detrimental; according to the charity Shelter, one in five people has experienced mental health issues as a result of housing. We’ve heard first-hand the difference our properties – and the incredible teams we work with – are making to people in the communities we support, which is why we will continue to provide social housing where people feel safe and valued and truly have the opportunity to flourish.
Our Mawney Road properties are two neighbouring houses which were formerly derelict. Now, they are two, freshly renovated homes, each housing six people. We fitted the properties with a number of eco features, including solar panels and electric radiators to reduce the cost of living for our residents.
Lyndsay has spent a large portion of her life living in what she describes as ‘stressful conditions’ and has been homeless for periods of time, too. She lives with a personality disorder, as well as schizophrenia, which makes the in-house support at Mawney Road vital for her wellbeing. Now, at the age of 52, she has found safety and comfort and is enjoying her fresh start.
In a former life, Lyndsay was a waitress, then a hairdresser and a chef. She still loves to cook, but wasn’t able to get stuck in until she moved into Mawney Road. “Where I lived before it was always really dirty, the place was full of mice and we all had to share a cooker, but it had hobs missing. Last night I made spaghetti bolognese in my own space and the leftovers are in my fridge for the next few days,” said .
Mental illness has made day-to-day living difficult. has been out of work for a long time, which means she doesn’t often have much money to spend, even on the basics. She said: “When I moved in I didn’t have any money. But I had food provided for me and tea, coffee, confectionery and stuff and I was so happy about that. I also had a nice sheet for my bed and a really comfortable bed too. I’m really happy here.”
There are a number of things which are important to Lyndsay when it comes to her home. Friendly neighbours, hygiene and security to name a few. Mawney Road is fitted with security cameras for resident protection which has made a huge difference to . “The cameras we have here make me feel really secure. I trust that my own belongings are safe and I can lock things away. It’s brilliant being here.”
When asked if the quality of housing impacts her mental health, said: “Oh it does, it really does. It makes a huge difference. Here I have a room that I’ve been able to make my own. I can be independent, I have a nice clean floor that I can mop and sweep and keep on top of myself.”
The support staff at Mawney Road provides residents with daily support to help them become more independent. This includes mental health advice, access to counselling, financial assistance and even daily jobs like shopping or cleaning if it’s needed. Lyndsay’s journey has been tough, but a stable home and compassionate support are making all the difference.
Lyndsay thinks there needs to be more recognition for those living with mental health conditions. “Everyone living with mental illness is vulnerable. Very vulnerable. That’s what I think. If someone living with a mental health condition is homeless, they should be provided with support and definitely not left on the street. It can be very difficult to deal with. But being here, I feel like I’m my own person and I can be myself and that’s amazing. Yes, it’s brilliant.” she said.