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It’s changed my life!

Karbon’s Supported Housing Team work with service users to help them make the most of their lives, regardless of their circumstances, and tackle any hurdles they might face along the way.

One service user who is taking a step in the right direction is Darren Carey. Darren has been working with Karbon Support Worker Stephen Bell on a one-to-one basis for three and a half years, looking at ways in which he can manage his mental health.

Darren has lived with poor mental health and social anxiety for the majority of his adult life, but when his Dad sadly passed he took a turn for the worst.

“I kind of spiralled,” said Darren. “Until it got to the point where I just had to say, ‘Look, I need help here’. It was at that point I was introduced to Karbon Homes.”

Stephen and Darren meet weekly, grabbing a cuppa in exhibition park in Newcastle where they work on gradually building Darren’s confidence and tackling any issues he might be facing.

Darren said: “Prior to working with Stephen, I didn’t have hope, I didn’t have optimism. Stephen’s supported me with a number of things, but it’s always been led by myself. I’m always in control.”

“I lost my dad about four and a half years ago, and for a while I felt like I wasn’t grieving. So, Stephen suggested I might like to consider bereavement counselling. I went and I was just able to talk through my emotions. Just getting them out was massively beneficial.”

Since working with Stephen, Darren’s confidence has grown massively. He’s managed to reconnect with friends and rebuild his social life.

“I’d never been out with friends for about 20 years, and last year, my confidence had grown to the stage where I thought ‘No, I’m going to tackle that.’ So, I went to a gig with a friend and we had a great night out.

“It feels great, it really does. I’m very conscious of the progress I’ve made, it’s changed my life, it really has.”

Stephen will support Darren until he feels he can move on from the service naturally, making sure he has the right support in place if he happens to need it in the future.

Reflecting on Darren’s progress, Stephen said: “The big difference I’ve seen in Darren is his ability to be able to go out into the world and to be able to do things on a day-to-day basis without a lot of processing, without a lot of thinking. He’s doing brilliantly.

“One of the most important things is to develop a trust, and for the person to get an understanding of what support is and what our role is.

“It’s also acknowledging what people do well in their life at the moment and trying to acknowledge that as a strength.”

Karbon Homes offers support that’s tailored specifically to each service user’s individual needs. Working closely with a range of specialist support providers, the team can offer support with variety of different needs, from improving mental wellbeing, living independently, overcoming addiction, fleeing domestic abuse to any other of life’s challenges.

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