Meet Bill, Gareth, Malcolm and Kevin. They are First Choice Tenants.
Bill, Gareth, Malcolm and Kevin used to live in a house that was not right for them. They did not have enough space and they could not use the garden. It was not safe for them and the staff had to be with them all the time.
Now Bill, Gareth, Malcolm and Kevin live in a new house and they are very happy.
First Choice and Keep Wales Tidy have helped them to make the garden better. They have grown lots of plants you can eat, built a greenhouse and a shed, put up bird boxes for wildlife and put trellises on the wall so that plants can grow up them. 3 of the Tenants use a wheelchair so the raised beds mean that everyone can now take part in growing flowers, herbs and fruit.
The Tenants really liked having volunteers come to their house to help with the garden project. They met new people and got involved with the activities. Gareth used to work on farms and he has done some gardening before. He showed First Choice staff what to do with the strawberry plants. Keep Wales Tidy gave everyone gardening gloves and tools but Gareth wanted to feel the soil with his bare hands because it brought back good memories.
Now that the garden project is finished, the Tenants have added their own ground-level trampoline. Malcolm would like to hang his own baskets at the front of the house, which has given him something to focus on. Bill is looking forward to having barbeques in the garden this summer. Gareth wants to grow more strawberries and host a garden party.
Something very special about Bill, Gareth, Malcolm and Kevin’s new home is that they have a new summer house outside. This has been turned into a sensory room.
Kevin uses the sensory room the most and can do this without staff watching over him. First Choice put a special Alexa with a screen in the corner of the sensory room which is linked to another Alexa in the house. Kevin can go out and use the room safely on his own now. The staff can even talk to him through the Alexa if they need to.
The staff say that this has been life changing for Kevin. Before, he could never be left on his own. Now, Kevin knows the route in and out of the house and he uses the sensory room whenever he wants to. This has been amazing for Kevin’s wellbeing because he can have his own space and does not have to be watched. Now he can properly enjoy himself and feel more relaxed. The staff would like to get a mobile hoist soon so that Malcolm can use the sensory room, too.
Bill, Gareth, Malcolm, Kevin and all the staff feel that the garden and summer house have made a huge difference to their quality of life.
They can’t wait to use the garden and summer house even more when the weather gets warmer and sunnier. They are proud of their new home and would really like to show it off to family and friends.