I’ve always been used to doing physical work; I don’t have the patience to sit in front of a desk. I was working with a scaffolding company when I was injured on the way to a job. I love travelling and have been going back and forth to Australia for the last 15-20 years. I was looking at flights when I had my accident. I would often go in the summer months, work a bit and enjoy the cricket. Life feels simpler out there; a lot calmer and reminds of the Britain I remember as a kid.

My housing situation in the UK was an informal arrangement between myself and a friend. In exchange for fixing things around the house, I was able to stay in her property; an old three-storey townhouse. All I had to cover was electricity and gas.  However, when it came to where I was going to live after my injury, it was going to be a major inconvenience to adapt the property for my needs and she didn’t want her place messed around.

Simon in his wheelchair

It didn’t feel like I had been in hospital five minutes before I was kicked out because of Covid. I spent several weeks in a rehab/care facility. My brother searched everywhere for somewhere for me to go. He registered with the local council whilst my employer also kept an eye out for places. At a meeting, a bedsit was suggested where I would basically be shoved through the door and left.

My brother got in touch with Aspire and their property came about at the right time, in the right place. It was good, it’s adapted and it was a chance to get going, get started again. It was a breath of fresh air. I no longer had people shouting all times of the day, like you do in a hospital or care home. Everything was just easy. I was a short distance to a big Tesco, an accessible gym; everything was handy and local which helped me get out and about and do things. I was able to have a go.

Accessible Housing

Personal stories

How we help