A scheme that supports people to live independently in Stoke-on-Trent, is celebrating its 1st birthday.

Victoria Place, ran by local charity Arch, is kicking off the celebrations with a BBQ for all their customers.

In the past year, the service has supported 43 people, who have various complex issues, such as mental health problems, drug and alcohol addition, debt or a lack of life skills.

The scheme, which has room for 22 people, supports customers to set goals and actions, and work with other agencies, with the aim of moving out and living independently in the community.

One customer told us, “Victoria place has helped me build my confidence and helped me to realise I have self-worth.

“I can see myself getting my own place one day and I am living life rather than suffering it.”

Another said, “Victoria place has helped me think about the bad choices I have made before, make better choices and to keep safe. I believe that I am in a better place now that when I moved in here, I am mentally stronger.

“It has also made me more aware of living independently, for example managing my electricity use which is preparing me for when I move on.”

Sarah Lockett is the team leader at Victoria Place. She said, “The scheme is going really well. We have achieved some fantastic outcomes with our customers. Some have already moved on to more independent living and others are on that journey.

“Going forward, we would like to have more customer involvement and the focus is on developing the outside space to create a pleasant and relaxing environment for customers to enjoy. We would like to get more volunteers involved to focus on life skills and domestic skills and to promote customers to make good use of their time.

“My team go above and beyond to help customers to achieve their goals and I am extremely proud of their efforts.”

For more information about the support we offer at Victoria Place, contact Arch on 01782 413409.