To continue our ‘In Our Own Words’ series, this week, we spoke to Santo, a person we support in Luton and his key worker, Laura about his coronavirus experience.

Santo: I was able to be a little more independent before lockdown, now I’m supported in the community by staff to do things like go shopping and leisure time at home. I’m also supported in cleaning and cooking, how long before we go back to normal? It’s really affected my life in being able to normal things.

However, I’m really grateful to all the staff, I’ve had so much support and time. Whilst we’ve been in lockdown, I told Jodie, our locality manager, how grateful I am and what a great job everyone’s been doing.

I don’t mind not going shopping myself because now they only allow one person in at a time and it’s better for me to stay home, rather be safe than sorry. I’ve been mostly watching telly, making cups of tea, getting lunch and dinner ready and doing puzzles. Oh, I’m also keeping in contact with my family and friends, we speak either over the phone or we text. My family are fine and well which is good. My parents actually came to visit me but I had my mask on and kept a distance from them, so they’re protected because they’re elderly.

I don’t go out for walks but I go out into the garden and spend some time out there.

WS: Thanks for taking the time to talk to me today Santo! Really appreciate your time

Santo: No problem, thank you.

**Santo then passes the phone to Laura**

WS: Hi Laura, could you tell me a bit about how Santo’s finding not being able to do the activities he used to?

Laura: It’s been a little frustrating for him being inside, I think and also a little boring but Santo understands why he needs to be inside and is in general quite chill and mild mannered. Before lockdown he would go horse riding, go to the cinema, bowling, cycling and attend social group.

Santo is really independent, he manages his finances himself and usually, him and I go shopping on Friday. In order to maintain some of his independence, Santo still makes his shopping list and gives staff money to get his groceries.

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As always being able to share the lives and stories of our team and the people we support is a privilege, hearing the interaction between Santo and Laura is telling of how incredible our team are and how hard they work to know, understand and support the individuals in our care.