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Independent living – why community connections matter to Darren

Darren loves the community where he lives. Being sociable wasn’t always his thing, he says – but using Livability’s independent living services has helped him to grow in confidence and independence.

Darren uses Livability’s services in Llandudno for a couple of hours each day, to support him with the tasks involved with running his own home. Delivering the local paper, and volunteering in local shops and the hospital café are just some of the ways that people supported by Livability play a part in their community.

Over several years, Livability has worked with Darren to increase his independence and he now requires fewer hours of support each week. Gaining independence and confidence has enabled him to get more out of life, connect with others and contribute to the community, including the local church where he worships. Darren contacted us to share his story about an amazing day out and about who and what is important in his life.

What did you do on your grand day out?

Me and Dave, my support worker, got the train and got into Liverpool at about 12. We went for a short walk then went to a lovely café for lunch, Dave had an all-day breakfast and I had fish fingers, chips, peas and gravy and a pot of tea for two. We went to a Christian bookshop and I bought a lovely Christmas present for my good friend, and I bought dad a nice watch for his Christmas present at the shopping centre.

We then went for a walk to Albert Docks and called into a gallery. We saw the statue of Billy Fury at the docks. Because it was getting late, we decided to walk back to Liverpool Central station to get the train. On the way back, we had a coffee in Costa at Chester station and then got the train back to Llandudno.

Sounds a great day. Why Liverpool?

I’d heard it was a lovely place and I’d never been before.

What’s life like back at home?

I live in a supported living flat on my own. I like where I live – I love the town, there’s plenty of shops.

Do you feel part of the community where you live?

Yes, I like talking to people, people I know in the town. I go to church – I’ve got some good friends there. I’m a Christian and I was baptised at my church. I didn’t used to be sociable but the Lord changed my life completely*.

Do you feel you’ve become more independent with Livability’s support?

Yes, they’ve helped me tremendously and built my confidence. I can do cooking with support now, and I’ll go shopping for the food. I like cooking anything – fish and chips, roast beef dinner.

Darren’s support is part of the Livability Conwy group of services, which works with 45-plus people with intellectual disabilities in residential care, support in their own homes and a vibrant day centre. For more inforamation about Livability’s services visit our service finder here.

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