On returning to the UK after several years working abroad, 56-year-old Ray Camacho found the prospect of finding a home close to family almost overwhelming. But, thanks to Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH), he’s now looking forward to a bright future.

Ray has settled into an apartment at one of the landlord’s Independent Living Schemes in Stafford. Aimed at over 55s, the schemes cater for a wide range of SARH customers, including people seeking the added peace of mind of on-site help and support and those who simply need to downsize from a larger home.

The diversity of people supported by SARH came as a surprise to Ray, who had never previously considered seeking help from a housing association.

“When I returned to the UK I felt completely lost and desperately wanted to be near my daughter in Stafford,” Ray explained.

“Unfortunately, buying a home was beyond me, as was the cost of renting privately. I really didn’t know where to turn until I heard about SARH.”

As he was over 55, the former promotions professional was able to apply for a self-contained Independent Living Scheme apartment, which has enabled him to re-start his efforts to get back into work.

He’s now using the SARH Job Club to help him brush up his CV writing and interview skills while settling into a smart, cosy, one bedroom apartment and building friendships within the local community.

“Getting in touch with SARH is the best thing I’ve done,” Ray said.

“More than anything, SARH have given me security while I rebuild my life and the apartment itself is beautiful, quiet and well maintained.”

“Ray’s story illustrates how Independent Living Schemes offer those over 55 a home they can feel happy and secure in,” according to Kathy Jones, Head of Independent Living, SARH.

“Although some customers require additional help as they get older, for many the appeal of our Independent Living Schemes is the peace of mind of being part of a community whilst having the privacy and independence of being able to close your own front door.”

"There really is no ‘typical’ customer. In exceptional cases we have homes for under 55s in the schemes whilst our oldest customers are into their 90s. What they all have in common is a well maintained home that offers both security and independence.”

Learn more about SARH Independent Living homes.

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