Nicole says moving from U18s residential care to independent living was a challenge for her, but help from Peter McVerry Trust’s Housing with Supports team made the transition a lot easier.
“The staff were really helpful. They were absolutely brilliant when I first moved in and still are now,” she says.
“I found it difficult going from residential care to independent living. For the first week, I think the staff bombarded with calls to come and actually stay here. Coming from a residential setting I was used to being surrounded by people all the time – there could easily be 10 people around you at all times. So going from being around such a big group of people to being by yourself was quite a scary thing for me. But when I came here and I stayed the first night, I think I started to love my own company after that,” she explains.
Nicole moved into her apartment in Abbeyleix at the age of 18 following a few years in residential care as a teenager.
“My social worker put me in contact with Peter McVerry Trust. I was in contact with them over the phone quite a lot. I originally went up to Dublin for a meeting and they talked me through the process of what it would be like living here, and what they would expect from someone who’s living in a Peter McVerry Trust property and stuff like that. I told them I’m a very quiet person and this place would suit me perfectly,” she says.
“I did struggle a little bit with my bills in the beginning, because the process of getting on the dole is very confusing, there are all these different forms, but the staff in Peter McVerry Trust sat down with me and helped me to figure out all the confusion.”