Susannah lives in a supported living center run by Hft in Milton Heights. She has lived there since 1982 when Milton Heights’ Hft center first opened.
There are many different houses and areas on the site where Susannah lives. Before Hft used the land to provide social care, it was army barracks. Now the land has many big houses for residents and many community spaces such as the sensory garden which was designed and built by volunteers through Channel 4.
Some residents who live there are fully supported by staff, while others, like Susannah, only have staff come in a few days a week. When Susannah first lived at Hft the staff lived on site, but now they don’t.
Residents are able to do many different activities on the site, for instance, Susannah says “I work at the reception all day Tuesdays and on a Monday afternoon and I do a drama group on Tuesdays”. As well as this, Susannah enjoys her independence, she goes to the opticians and on the bus on her own, and she has a volunteer job at the Cancer Research charity shop in Didcot which she “very much enjoys”.
An important part of Susannah’s life is her relationship with her fiancé Jeremy. Susannah met Jeremy in the gardens of the Hft centre and they have been together for many years. Susannah and Jeremy got engaged in a Chinese restaurant in Weymouth in 2014 and are waiting until they are able to live together before getting married. She says the “living at Htf is alright but I just want to live with Jeremy really”.