Heathfield house is a rehabilitation unit in Stockport, Greater Manchester. It is a huge mansion with capacity for 20 residents but there are 13 at the moment. The building is grand and very old. It has three storeys but only the ground and first floors are used.
I have been here for the past three years and have grown accustomed to life here. I have seen many patients move on and newer clients move in.
The staff are great and understanding and I have got to know all of them. During my stay here I have learned a lot, including cooking and budgeting.
I have benefitted greatly from psychology sessions where I learned about coping and distraction techniques. I also learned compassion focussed therapy which revolutionised how I interact with myself and others. I have collaborated on a journal article about this with my psychologists.
To put it bluntly, the unit has become my home where I have a timetable of activities and a daily routine. Due to living together on the unit, residents form bonds and friendships. I had a good friend who was also Bangladeshi, we used to cook together and before the lockdown would go out shopping and to the takeaway together. He has moved back to Oldham.
I get along with the other service users although there are occasional disagreements but nothing major. Heathfield House is a safe and calm place where the alarm goes off very rarely.
Every Monday, we have a community meeting in the morning where we are free to raise any issues and present feedback about the past week’s activities. The residents chair the meeting, alternating every week. Some days I do it and other days another client does it. We also have a Tai Chi class after the meeting.
Breakfast is at 9am in the morning, dinner is at 12 followed by tea at 5pm. Finally, supper is served at 9pm in the evening.
On Tuesday we design and prepare the weekly ward newsletter which has been running for the past year. We have covered many relevant and fun topics from books to music and football. We are paid for producing the newsletter.
The Halal food shop takes place on a Tuesday, another Muslim resident travels by bus for half an hour to a Halal shop where he buys lamb or chicken. The unit does accommodate the Muslim diet but the food is quite bland. On Wednesdays we run the Halal cookery group which is quite popular. We make the curry hot and spicy.
My two favourite meals in the week are jacket potato and beans and on Friday, fish, chips and beans with a jam donut.
The occupational therapy team are great as they help us with different things whether it is with cooking or different activities. I have been helped with my GCSE maths course, my book and my blog.
The nursing staff are very understanding and empathic and don’t judge us for our past.
On Thursdays, we have a ten minute Youtube exercise group with Mr Motivator which is quite fun. Staff and patients alike join in.
On Friday we have walking trips to various landmarks and parks and reservoirs. I also have my one-to-one with the OT team, we discuss my interests and ongoing projects. The weekend is quite boring although we sometimes go to car boot sales on Sundays and have take-away nights on Saturdays.
I have recently learned Scrabble and find it highly enjoyable and educational. I also play chess and pool when I can.
Many activities have stopped due to the lockdown such as the badminton group and cinema group. These activities will start again soon.