Three men standing in front of a painted wall decorated with stars and a tree

Creating a personal outside space for our residents at Sunrise Avenue, a supported housing service in Essex.

Published: 10/06/2021

Sunrise Avenue is a supported housing service in Essex offering 24-hour support to John, Brian and Michael. They were all advised to shield during the pandemic, so apart from a quick walk around the block, they were indoors most of the time.

They joined Zoom sessions every day - enjoying cooking, music quizzes, dance, gardening and general welfare catch-ups with Ravensbourne Day centre and Greenacres in Chelmsford.

To support them through the lockdown we improved their garden with new plants, bulbs and repainted the fencing and borders. On a blank wall, one of our support workers Adrian King asked John, Brian and Michael to stand together and painted around them. He added stars in luminous paint to the new mural so it will shine at night, and a decorative tree to enjoy in the daytime.

We asked John, Brian and Michael what they thought of the mural:
“That’s us on there, we are friends and we love it.”

John and Brian have lived at Sunrise since 2003, Michael moved in last July.

John is a music fanatic and loves the Beatles. He loves living at Sunrise and being in the heart of Chelmsford, telling us: “It’s my home, I have my music, I like the people who look after me, I couldn’t be happier.”

Brian is more reserved, he loves beer and going to the pub. His favourite seasons are spring and summer when he can enjoy relaxing in his garden chair with his radio. We asked Brian what he loves about living at Sunrise and he replied, “Staff, pub, yep it's good!”

The missing puzzle

Michael was the missing piece of the puzzle for Sunrise. He brought so much confidence to the house. When we couldn’t go out, he helped John and Brian to enjoy the indoor activities and embraced “Staying in is the new going out.” Michael is a fan of Harry Potter, Danger Mouse, Disney and has been really looking forward to getting outside again.

Our Team Manager Cheryl Edwards told us: “Our team at Sunrise have been helping redecorate the garden for the customers, but the mural is a personal touch I could never have imagined and has had such an impact. It will remain a part of the service for years to come.”

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