Select Lifestyles

#SelectPrideMonth Spotlight: Andrew

At Select Lifestyles, we celebrate the unique experiences and journeys of our clients. Today, we are delighted to share an interview with Andrew Scullion (he/him), a client at our Doveridge Place Supported Living service, who has kindly shared his story with us.

Getting to Know Andrew

Before joining Select Lifestyles, Andrew lived in his own flat in Darlaston but faced severe bullying from neighbours. Authorities did not address the issue, leading to a very distressing experience for him. This has made him reluctant to live alone again due to the loneliness he felt.

Andrew moved into Select Lifestyles in November 2023. Since then, he says the staff have been very supportive, especially with money management, healthy eating, weight management, and helping him gain more independence. He can now attend appointments alone sometimes, and there is always help on hand when he wants to go shopping.

He loves music and enjoys playing instruments, particularly the guitar and harmonica. He has recently learned how to write music, both notes and lyrics.

Despite being quiet and shy at times, Andrew is not afraid to speak up when he needs something. He dislikes animosity and always strives to resolve issues to maintain a peaceful atmosphere.

Life at Select Lifestyles

In his previous living situation, Andrew was quite unhappy. Now, things are much better. He is happy and at peace because of the supportive environment and the people he lives with at Select Lifestyles.

Andrew has made significant progress recently. He has saved quite a bit of money and has successfully quit smoking, marking important milestones in his journey.

He really appreciates how well all the service users and staff at Doveridge Place get along. The staff are kind, friendly, and always helpful, creating a pleasant living environment.

Spotlight

Andrew belongs to the LGBTQ+ community but doesn’t specifically identify in a particular way. He knows he likes women but also enjoys dressing up in women’s clothes.

He struggles with gender confusion due to a history of abuse when he was younger and has faced harassment for cross-dressing.

The support staff at Doveridge Place have provided Andrew with a safe space where he can regularly talk and express how he feels. He doesn’t dress up as often as he’d like to build up his confidence again. He is considering growing his hair longer to reflect his desired appearance.

From his own life lessons, he wants you to be confident and embrace who you are. He encourages others to be true to themselves without fear or judgment holding them back.

One Piece of Advice

Andrew advises anyone considering staying with Select Lifestyles to be receptive to the help being offered. When he first moved in, he had almost nothing, but one of his Service Managers, Abiodun Okunnu, helped him settle and provided everything he needed at the time.

At Select Lifestyles, we are proud to have such dedicated and inspiring residents. Andrew’s story of resilience and self-acceptance enriches our community and reminds us of the importance of diversity and inclusion.

 

If you are experiencing challenges such as discrimination or stigma, please know you are not alone, and help is available. Our mental health team is here to chat (Contact A Mental Health First Aider). You can also explore support groups through Mind’s contacts to find the right assistance for you.