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I arrived at Carterknowle Yard at the end of May 2011 and this is my first time living away from home. Hutton Housing allowed me to spend a night a week and some weekends there before I decided I was ready to take my first step towards independent living.

I had very basic skills with cooking, cleaning and budgeting when I arrived. Cooking food at right temperatures and at different times to make sure I had all ingredients for my meal was a big problem. Staff have supported me with new meals and cooking skills where I am now confident and require minimum support.

Although I have a bank account, I had no experience of having to pay bills and budget for my shopping. Again, with support, I now budget myself for a set amount each week and it’s great to see my account with enough to buy things I need for myself and my home.

Hutton Housing staff have also supported me to join organisations such as SPICE UK which hold social events in and around Sheffield. This has improved my quality of life and moving me in the right direction towards independent living.
I was the first tenant to occupy a flat at Carterknowle Yard, arriving in July 2010. I had left my previous accommodation requiring three things. These were:

    - Feeling secure
    - Staff that supported me
    - A general peace of mind

Since living at Carterknowle Yard and being supported by Hutton Housing, I feel all three have been achieved. The complex has electronic security gates and key coded doors to the flats and is also in a quiet area of Sheffield. Staff are also on site 24 hours a day.

Staff are brilliant and have supported me from my arrival. They have always been there when needed and with their support, I have been able to reduce my support hours. This is through their continued encouragement and due to this I have gained more confidence and independence. I have recently attended a 3 day music concert unsupported, which when I arrived, I would not have had the confidence or skills to do.
Before moving to Carterknowle Yard and Hutton Housing, I was in shared accommodation. My Social Worker gave me a leaflet about the new flats and I fell in love with them, even more when I visited. I moved there in October 2010 with the main focus on becoming independent.

I already had good skills in general household cleaning etc, but seriously needed support with budgeting week to week. With the support of the staff, I feel I have achieved this now and I am confident in daily budgeting. I now know that if I can’t afford it, I have to wait until I can.

Like with most people, occasionally, things don’t go as planned or I do something I shouldn’t. However, the staff have always advised me to put me back on the right track and they have never been judgemental.

They have also assisted me in getting a volunteer placement at the RSPCA because I love working with animals. I don’t really go much now, but that is my choice and again, staff have not judged me for it.

I have also been given responsibility of a part of the grounds to look after and often weed and water the plants. Again, this has helped built my confidence because someone has shown trust in me.

Without Hutton Housing support, I may not have been able to access the support services I need to give me a better chance in succeeding to reach my goals.