Josef* is a young man with mild learning disabilities and mental health problems. He was referred to us by a social worker for a care review which was going to result in a possible change of accommodation.

Josef was living in a supported living flat on his own managed by a mental health care service, the funding had been changed so this meant anyone living there must have certain mental health issue and tenancies could only be for a maximum of two years.

Josef had been living there for 13 years and to him, this was his home. He had very fixed routines, one of which was a daily walk into his local town only five minutes away.

A previous attempt had been made to support Josef to move but this hadn’t ended well and he had struggled throughout the whole process.

How we helped

Our Advocate spent time getting to know Josef, about his lifestyle and the things that are important to him. When talking about housing the Advocate explored all of the options with Josef, including social housing, private landlords and other supported living type flats.

The Advocate also looked at Josef’s care and support, where he was and the restrictions around it there, as opposed to where he could live and how this may change.

Josef had always loved going to the cinema and watching live sports (football and cricket) and he also loved to visit stately homes and museums.

Because of the way Josef’s support was he couldn’t do those things, so thinking about changing where he lived and given the possibility of doing these things, he decided that moving might not be a bad idea after all.

There was pressure for Josef to move, which the Advocate represented him over, a plan and deadline for six months was set with a chance for the Advocate, Josef and his current support workers to explore the different options for him.

The Advocate supported Josef’s support workers and Josef to explore different types of housing, similar to what he’d had already, sharing a house, renting a private flat and applying for social housing.

The Advocate also visited Josef every three weeks, to explore what kind of care and support he would like, how this would look and the kind of things he really wanted carers for.

Josef looked at the different housing options and decided on a flat on his own with carers coming to visit him for support.

Josef eventually went to view this and was offered a lovely flat near his town and similar to his old place, it was only five minute walk from town centre. The best thing is - his new lounge is now three times bigger and Josef loves to sit in the window and watch the world go by.

Josef is now happy in his new flat, he has new carers who have time to ensure that he can go out to the cinema, watch football matches or the cricket and will let him visit stately homes. Josef can do all those things he loves to do.

Josef is extremely happy with his move and the support that was provided from Advocacy Focus, he had the time to get used to the idea and also to see how the move could benefit him. Most importantly though, Josef got to choose what to do and how to do it and our Advocate made sure everyone knew about Josef’s right to choose and think about his own options.

*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the people we support