I was first admitted to Broad Oak* when I was 17 and then another 5-6 times after this. I also spent 12 months in Rathbone**, came out for 12 months before being readmitted.

When I was discharged from Rathbone hospital I went into Childwall Brook‡ for 12 months, I felt a lot better in there – the staff were sound and I had come off drugs. They really helped me. They supported me with cleaning and learning to cook my own meals.

I then moved onto Abbeyvale† where I lived with a man called Charlie. I had my own room and we shared the living room, bathroom and kitchen. While I was at Abbeyvale I had loads of help with budgeting my money and learned how to manage it properly; paying bills, getting shopping and having some left to go out with my mates.

Once I felt sound enough I decided I wanted my own flat with just a little bit of support. Staff at AFG supported me to do this and I moved into a new apartment in 2009. The flat I am in is spot on. I like that I still have staff coming in each day to support me with some things, but I feel like I am my own man and I like being independent. I get to see my family more too, because they can come to my flat or I can go and see them. When I go to pick my medication up from the hospital I see people who I used to know when I was in hospital and I can see how far I have come. I feel a lot better because I have got a good flat and great staff to support me.

I think that I am a success story because I was in a hospital for ages and even though it has taken me a few years, I now live in a flat on my own with a bit of support everyday and I feel sound!

* Broad Oak Mental Health Unit, Broad Green Hospital, Liverpool; ** Rathbone Low Secure Unit, Liverpool; ‡ An AFG Adult Care Home with Nursing in Liverpool; † An independent living residence, supported by AFG services