Leyburn supported housing complex welcomes guests

An event aimed at showing how supported housing can make a difference to people’s lives has been held in Leyburn.

Broadacres invited stakeholders, including local councillors, to visit Leyburn Lodge, a six-home scheme in Harmby Road which provides support to people whilst they recover from mental illness.

The visit took place on August 31 to mark Starts at Home Day, an event organised by the National Housing Federation to raise awareness of the importance of supported housing in the UK.

Among those who were given a tour of the scheme were North Yorkshire County Councillor Karin Sedgwick and Leyburn Town Councillor Derek Riley.

They spoke to current and former tenants of Leyburn Lodge.

One of the former residents, who asked not to be named, said: “I moved into Leyburn Lodge a few years after being diagnosed with schizophrenia, with the main symptom being hearing voices in my head.

“Up until that point, because I have lived with my parents and then my former partner, I had never actually lived alone, so the 20 months I spent at Leyburn Lodge was a good experience of me.

“I had my own apartment but was able to mix with the other tenants in the communal areas and staff were always on hand when I needed someone to talk to.

“I am now living on my own, independently, elsewhere in Richmondshire and I credit being at Leyburn Lodge with the progress I have made.”

Sarah Beniams, Broadacres’ mental health scheme manager, said: “While they are with us we support tenants in managing their tenancies and provide other support whilst they are recovering from their mental illness.

“Since we opened Leyburn Lodge nine people have successfully moved on to live independently in the community, including four who have been able to remain in the Leyburn/Middleham area.”

Leyburn town councillor Derek Riley said: “We were very impressed with what we saw at Leyburn Lodge and we hope more organisations take up Broadacres’ offer of viewing this scheme, which is helping to make a real difference to people’s lives.

“It is pleasing to know that people have been able to remain in the community after leaving Leyburn Lodge. There is a need for more community housing and the Town Council is committed to working with it partners to achieve this.”