Thames Reach
Friday 17 November 2017
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Christine's story

Christine is a resident at the Thames Reach Wandsworth supported housing project.

One of the key aims of the staff based at Thames Reach supported housing projects is to help residents lead more independent lives.

Friends House resident Christine has flourished since moving into her Thames Reach Wandsworth flat and is benefitting hugely from regular meetings with her support worker Robin O’Malley.

A full-time carer for her mother for many years, Christine lost both her parental home and her health when her mum moved into a care home.

She struggled with severe depression and felt very alone and isolated before her move into Friends House.

Robin helped her with some simple day to day ‘living’ skills which many take for granted but which Christine had never had the chance to develop before. The aim was to boost her self-confidence and help her develop a network of new friends.

Robin arranged counselling to help Christine to come to terms with her past.

Robin helped Christine to understand that she had choices about what she could do. She joined a local group that helped organise social events for people with disabilities.

Thames Reach’s Robin O’Malley, said: “Christine uses her time more effectively now and is able to make personal choices and lead a more contented life.”

Christine is also a very talented jeweller and knitter. She decided to take some college courses which helped her develop her written and IT skills but also take her jewellery and knitting onto the next level.

Christine said: “The support plan I drew up with Robin included my aspiration to share my crochet and knitting skills. I now get great satisfaction from sharing my skills at a knitting group held in central London twice a week.”

Christine also now attends jewellery fares and has just completed a bead work and jewellery design course.

Christine added: I was really, really depressed and had lost myself. My support worker helped me identify what I wanted to do and how to get there and how to deal with that depression.

Robin said: “Since moving in she’s made huge strides and new friendships. She wasn’t used to independent living but now she’s prepared to move on armed with her new found self-confidence.”