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A better life is on the horizon for one Bromford customer who is planning to develop a community garden – with the help and support of her neighbourhood coach.

In Burntwood, neighbourhood coach Katie Malone has built up a trusting relationship with our customer Steph* who she first met at a halfway house. Steph had been through some tough times and offering her a Bromford flat was a game changer for her. 

She now had something to focus on, to work towards and could start investing her time in something positive.

Steph said: “Having this flat offered to me and the ongoing support from my neighbourhood coach has made such a difference to my life. In fact, it saved my life. It gave me not only somewhere to call home but a real focus and drive to work on my recovery and being the best version of me. I know this will be my forever home and I can’t thank you enough.”

Katie said: “Once Steph had signed her tenancy, she made good progress in decorating and gathering together pieces of furniture through local community sites and with the help of her family. There was a point during the tenancy where a family member, who was a drug user, turned up at the home and needed a place to stay. 

“Having a good relationship with the customer meant she alerted me to this immediately, but felt she was unable to control the situation and was concerned what this would mean, not only for her tenancy, but also for all the hard work she had done with her recovery and getting her life on track.”

With Katie’s intervention and the support of the local police, the family member was quickly moved on and told that they were not to return or be seen in the area. Building up the relationship with Katie meant there was enough trust for her to be able to turn to Katie and acknowledge something that could have had a negative outcome.

Steph is keen to do something positive within her community and has said that when the lockdown has eased, she would like to think about developing a community garden or growing her own vegetables.

Kate added: “We are going to get together to look at some of her ideas and see if we can get a grant to help. I think this will be something that is not only great for Steph, but also for the community, and I will do all I can to support her plans.”

*The customer’s name has been changed to protect her identity.

If you’re interested in becoming a coach in your community, check out our job opportunities.