Larry and Fiona, residents of The Croft Community in Malton, North Yorkshire, have recently made a move into greater independence. After a number of years living in large, shared households, the two have taken on the responsibility of sharing a small house and all the daily tasks and decisions that go with it.
‘This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long while’, says Larry. For Fiona, the desire to live more independently came from ‘just feeling like I was ready. It’s a change for me’, she says.
A spirit of independence
Larry and Fiona’s big step is very much in keeping with the spirit of The Croft, which was set up expressly to support people to be part of the wider community. Homes are dotted around town, and a number of residents work in the heart of Malton’s historic market area, at the Kingfisher Café, Gift and Book shop. A project of The Croft, the Kingfisher was beautifully renovated in 2001 with the help of kind friends and is very popular locally.
Larry and Fiona’s new home is on a quiet street within easy walking distance from the main hub of The Croft, so they still feel very much part of the community. ‘One or two days a week we have somebody popping in – and a phone call in the evenings to check we’re ok’, says Fiona. She’s been branching out in her working life, too. ‘I’ve been doing Speak Up work’, she explains, ‘inviting people to not be as shy and to speak up for themselves. I’ve been going to meetings in places like Whitby and Scarborough.’