Starting over isn’t easy. Living with mental health issues, addiction or at risk of homelessness can have a huge toll on a person’s wellbeing. But providing someone with a home and the right level of support can make an incredible difference – and that’s exactly what happens at Faringdon Lodge.
We designed Faringdon Lodge with real people in mind. Each resident has their own unit, communal living spaces and on-site support provided by the charity Social Interest Group (SIG). Ensuring there is space for care and support is a vital part of the work that Manager Lucy and Deputy Manager Mehmet are doing to help rehabilitate their residents.
The correlation between a person’s mental wellbeing and the quality of their home is staggering. One in five people has experienced mental health issues as a result of housing according to the tenant rights charity Shelter. We are determined to make housing better so people can enjoy a higher quality of life.
Faringdon Lodge was a disused care home, which now comprises 25 individual units which have been freshly decorated and refurbished, and fitted out with eco features to reduce the cost of living for the residents.
Since September 2022, Seb, 42, has been living at Faringdon Lodge. He shared some of his journey with us and told us what life at Farringdon Lodge is like.
Seb lives with poor mental health which has seen him hospitalised, a spinal fracture which he is currently recovering from and regular seizures caused by an alcohol dependency which began when he was 14.
Living in Faringdon Lodge is providing Seb with a stable home, supportive and understanding staff and local access to support groups. In his experience it’s important to have a strong network of people who understand your situation and a secure base to ease the journey to recovery.
Before moving into this property, Seb had been in temporary accommodation and was at risk of homelessness, he said: “I really appreciate what I have been given. I am so lucky to have access to accommodation like this. The staff, the bed, the warmth, and the facilities are all great.”
The team at Faringdon Lodge has been supporting Seb and the other residents with their mental health and recovery, and hope that people will be kind and more open minded towards people in this situation.
“Most people are just trying to do their best,” said Seb. “Come and see us to see what it is like. I understand that mental health really affects people, but I take great pride in where I live. It’s brilliant here because we have all the facilities we need and it’s nice and clean. Sometimes I go round and pick up any rubbish to help keep on top of things.”
The Faringdon Lodge staff provide in-house help as well as regular access to support groups, and residents – including Seb – are encouraged to get involved. Seb said: “The staff here are always increasing our support. Engagement, key working, all of that kind of stuff. We have speakers come in to talk to us and provide additional help and advice. And usually people who can relate to what we’re going through.”
Seb has personalised his space with important parts of his life. He has a degree in music and was a passionate drummer before his spinal fracture, so drum pedals sit around as motivation and ornaments of Buddha are on the windowsill and chest of drawers to remind him to stay centred and focused on his goals.
“My long-term goal is to become part of the staff here. I want to get sober, and then help other people in this situation. Because I know how mental health affects people, and can understand the support someone like me needs,” said Seb.
“I don’t want to be homeless. It is 100% easier for me to try and recover because of where I live and I really appreciate everything that I have been given.”