With the traditional Christmas bustle all around, a 48-year-old man with schizophrenia is celebrating his success in having overcome a life-long fear of crowds at the registered home where he lives in King’s Lynn in Norfolk.
Keith Page has been supported to overcome his crowd phobia by staff at Portland Street, a registered home run by private care-providers Regard, where he has lived since 2006.
Service manager, Leighanne Pritchard, said: “Feeling uncomfortable about being in a crowd is not uncommon, but when you have a real phobia about it, that can make life very difficult.
“Keith’s key-worker, Caroline, has supported him in overcoming his fear of crowds, and when they arrived home recently after a journey home on a standing-room-only train from Cambridge, Keith was absolutely delighted at having coped happily with a situation that would previously have traumatised him.
“Success stories like this are what makes working in the care industry so rewarding, and we’re all so pleased for Keith.”
Portland Street is a 11-bed service for adults with enduring mental health problems, which focuses on supporting people reclaim control over their lives. All service users are encouraged to participate in the day-to-day running of their home, and actively supported to attend groups and courses in the community
Leighanne Pritchard said: “Keith is a chatty, friendly, positive chap who loves music and can often be heard singing around the house. He particularly enjoys live music and never misses a KLFM event if he can help it, nor our local disco which he attends with other service users and often some of our staff.”
There is currently one vacancy at Portland Street, in a large first floor room with en suite bathroom, suitable for short, medium or long term referrals
Regard, which runs Portland Street, has recently attained the Gold Standard at Investors in People award, one of only four organisations in the sector to achieve the standard.
They are due to open a new service next door to the existing one in Portland Street in the New Year. Bishop’s House will provide supported living services for six people with mental health needs and learning disability, each with their own spacious flat in a newly refurbished town house.