"I get the freedom and one to one support that I don’t get if I stay anywhere else. It’s great to come here when you’re stressed and need a break."
Eighteen-year-old Shelby has been supported by Martin House for the past eight years. The decision to move her stays from the family-centred ‘House’ to Whitby Lodge, she says, was an easy one as the environment was more suited to that of a young woman with changing needs and wishes:
“I moved over to Whitby Lodge early on as I was quite mature for my age. In the Lodge, I feel like I’m treated more like an adult and I can do a lot more things and go out a lot more.
"The staff are lovely and I get the freedom and one to one support that I don’t get if I stay anywhere else. It’s great to come here when you’re stressed and need a break, and it gives my family a chance to relax as well.”
Whilst high-quality clinical care is of paramount importance, one of the crucial benefits of Whitby Lodge is its ability to provide a safe and supportive space for young people to share their experiences with others in similar situations and to enjoy as normal an existence as possible. Shelby explains:
“If I didn’t have the Lodge I’d be really bored! I’ve made some of my best friends here and over the years we’ve become really close. We try to book our stays together and go out shopping to the White Rose Centre or into Leeds city centre and grab some food.
"A lot of people think it’s a place you come when you’re really ill or where you stay at the end of your life but it’s not what it’s like at all. To me it’s like a holiday home and I really enjoy my time here.”