“Carol* approached HAB about ten years ago. She never washed or brushed her hair and had previously been sectioned, but refused to admit that she had any mental health issues.

“She found it difficult to work with staff, but when she went into the TiB night shelter, she made a friend, which was a start. However, Carol became paranoid and believed that police had hacked her phone and put something in her body to track all her movements.

“Despite this, she was eventually housed. She was moved to a different borough, but her worries didn’t end there as she lost all her ID and her benefits were stopped. Finally, she was evicted and placed in the care of the Somewhere Safe to Stay HUB in Friern Barnet, where staff helped to get her benefits reinstated. 

“She still wasn’t washing herself or brushing her hair. She was transferred from the HUB to the Golders Green project where I (Support Officer, Anne O'Sullivan) started working with her again.

“We set up a routine where Carol would have a daily shower, wash her hair and change her clothes.

“She’d also lost contact with her children and grandchildren, so we concentrated on re-establishing this. She now has a relationship with her family and is happy, speaking on the phone with her daughter five times a day. She also visits her daughter and sees her grandchildren.

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“She found it hard to socialise with people but she joined a ladies group at HAB three months ago and has made friends and never fails to attend the group.

“Carol was dealing with many issues, one was that she was a hoarder, but she now keeps her room spotless. She is dealing with many medical problems at the moment but she manages to keep all her appointments. For therapy, she does jigsaws and makes latch hook rugs.

“She calls into the office at Golders Green daily and she asks the staff if they need anything. Really it’s an excuse for her to go the shop, which she likes to do.

“Whereas nine years ago she isolated herself from everybody, now, she has gained a lot of confidence.

“We have a bit more work to do together, but I am proud of her achievements. Her life has turned around for the better!”

*Her name has been changed to protect her privacy