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Getting my life back

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10/10/2017 13:32:00

Robert had been living in secure hospitals for over 12 years. “I have spent a long time in hospital. The staff did everything for me and I was dependent on them. I sabotaged my discharge from hospital a few times, as I was scared and I panicked.

“Moving to St Andrews was a scary experience. A self-contained flat just for me and no one to tell me what to do!” The staff support Robert to manage his mental health and become more independent. “You know I had never paid a bill in my life! The staff help me with budgeting and check that I’m looking after myself.”

Robert keeps his ‘positivity tree’ in a central place in his flat. “The tree helps me when I feel low. I look at all the names hanging from the branches and remember how they’ve helped me. And it’s a good feeling.”

In September 2017, Robert took part in the Parallel London 10k run around the Queen Elizabeth Park. “I’ve never done a sponsored walk before, and I really enjoyed it. It’s a great feeling to do something you love, whilst raising money for a good cause. I’ve raised £840 and that will be used to extend our allotment at St Andrews to get the tenants involved and eating more healthily.”

While in hospital, Robert did a Royal Horticultural Society qualification in garden design, planning, maintenance and management. “I’ve done loads of gardening at St Andrews already and can’t wait to work on the allotment. I would love to do some voluntary gardening work and hopefully progress to paid-work.”
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