Around Ealing April / May 2019 - Page 21

BETTER LIVES Robert: ‘I love my apartment’ Home comforts ve If you ha over a concerns ou le adult y vulnerab n e council o can call th . 5 8000 020 882 This lovely, tidy flat has quite a story behind it. Because, just a year ago, it looked very different. An outreach team has helped turn around the life of the tenant, who used to have a serious hoarding problem. Nargis Ahmad reports. E very week, Ealing Council’s CHOICE outreach service helps up to 50 people with learning disabilities. The service provides them with a wide variety of support, ranging from help with arranging to pay bills, to going shopping; and from taking part in social activities, to health and fitness. The team has recently helped to transform the life of a resident, Robert Nathan, 72, who lives in Northolt. When they first met him, Robert was isolated and needed a lot of support to overcome his hoarding. ‘HE’S A DIFFERENT PERSON’ Paul Edwards, who works for CHOICE, said: “I’ve been Robert’s community support worker for the last four years. When he was ready for his place to be cleared, we moved him into a bed and breakfast for a week and hired two men to clean the apartment out. We bought new furniture, such as a fridge, freezer, bed, and flooring. The whole twice a week and we go shopping and to team worked together to help. He’s the cinema. He helps me to budget and a different person. Previously he was organise my life. He orders healthy meals isolated but he’s much more for me and I appreciate his help.” sociable now. Robert’s needs are still high LIVING INDEPENDENTLY but that’s where Councillor Binda Rai, the our team comes council’s cabinet member in. If he wasn’t for health and adults’ with us, the costs services, said: “It is our to the council and ambition to support as for him, would be many people as possible Paul from CHOICE visits much more. to live independently Robert every week “Robert didn’t have within the community. a bank account before. Through our outreach team, He was using pre-payment we are making a very real difference cards for electricity and gas. By opening to the quality of lives that people like a bank account and setting up direct Robert are able to lead. This outreach debits, he has saved money.” work is enabling people to not only CHOICE also takes Robert on become more independent in their own regular trips and days out; he has even home, but at the same time they are gone abroad. also being supported to acquire further Robert said: “I love my apartment, skills to support their independence, it’s nice and clean. I have a cleaner who such as budgeting, preparing meals and comes once a week now. I meet Paul becoming more socially active.” around ealing    April/May 2019 21