Jonathan is celebrating his 25th year living at Enham Trust. Here, Jonathan reflects on his time and shares his story;

“I was born with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which means that my joints that dislocate easily and I am a full time wheelchair user. I was born in Cardiff and lived in Ascot for a while. I actually went to boarding school as a child, then college in Kent and Nottingham, so I have always been independent and living away from home.

I remember exactly when I moved to Enham Trust; it was 4th November 1993 and I moved into what was called Phipps House and received 24 hour care. My parents helped me move in and I was really excited, as it was the first time I would experience living away from my family as an adult and making my own way in a new place.

Living at Enham Trust

I’ve also lived in Weston Court in a shared bungalow at Enham Trust, and also Alex House for 12 years, and slowly reduced my care hours. It’s been great to live in a few different places and meet new people. I found adapting to these flats was easy, as they have all been accessible and suited to my needs. I moved into my flat at Weston Court in March 2015 and been living here since.

I was really lucky to be able to go to Florida back in 1994 with friends that live here too. We went to all the theme parks, including Disney and Universal Studios, and even Cape Canaveral to see the Kennedy Space Centre – it was so good!

Whilst living here, I’ve also been able to work at Enham Trust as well. I worked at the Alamiein Unit, now called Enham 3PL, where I did packing of various items 5 days a week and then went part-time to fit around my lifestyle.

Helping others

In a normal day, I like to make my own breakfast and then see my Personal Assistant to help me with paperwork. I am big Formula One fan and have a huge collection of DVD’s - my favourite film is Mamma Mia! In the afternoons during the week, I go to Portway Junior School and Balksbury School where I help year 3 and 5 children learn to read. I love listening to the children read, especially those that don’t always get a chance to read much at home. It’s great to see the improvement in the children over the weeks and months as their confidence improves. I go and help out almost every day, since about 1995 in various different schools in the area!

I am part of the housing committee, where I help the team with allocations and other odd jobs. I am also part of the Client Design Panel, where we give ideas for new projects and how to make them accessible for disabled people. The most recent project was the new Enham Trust Café, and I will be a part of future projects as well. I have a busy social life!

I would say overall my highlight of the past 25 years living here is that I am independent, which is really important for me. You can do things in your own time. I think my home has good quality adaptations that I need, to get on with what I want to do. I’ve made some really good progressions over the years to get to this point of being independent; I just love living here.”

Thanks for reading this…

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