I moved into Rowan Lodge in July 2007. Before that I was in Hospital, Oakwood House and then to Whittucks Road for a year as I have a long standing mental health problem.

My Social Worker helped me choose Rowan Lodge, staying there for two years really helped me improve my level of independence, sense of well being and confidence.

I am a keen cook and enjoy catering for myself, but needed support with meals that I had not cooked before. Unfortunately I was then diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and I really had great guidance from staff on healthy eating.

They also worked with me on paying bills. The staff advised me that Direct Debit payments took the anxiety out of bill payments and my TV licence and service charge were consequently always paid on time. This really reduced my stress levels and has really helped me, now that I have moved into my own flat and continue to do the same.

I still find it hard to go out to certain places and am unable to get on a bus, but hopefully in time this will be a goal that I achieve.

Through being at Rowan Lodge I managed to get my own one bed flat in Kingswood near to my family as staff assisted me with the bidding scheme. They helped with the decoration and to claim a ‘moving in grant’. I now have staff support, twice a week. I bought all my furniture and I have been able to make it nice and homely.