Meet Colin and Morley, best of friends united in their new home with help from council officers

Two old friends have realised their dream of living together with help from Oxfordshire County Council and a housing provider.

Morley Dickie, is a 73 year old man with a learning disability and diabetes who has lived in a shared house in Witney for many years with the council’s support. Sadly a man he shared with passed away and a lady who lived at the property moved into a care home.

Caroline Pickett, a Care Manager at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Morley did not want to continue living on his own and the county council did not want a three bed house with just one person living there.

“I was asked to work with Morley. I am a huge fan of extra care housing and thought Morley would love this. Extra care housing is where older and disabled people with care and support needs can rent or buy their own home with round-the-clock care. I went to just such a scheme at Erdington House, Yarnton to check out if they had any vacancies and they did but it was a two bed flat

“I met with Morley at the flat and he really liked it. Morley travels by bus everywhere and he knows the routes and there is a bus stop close by. We had coffee at the extra care housing restaurant at Erdington House and chatted in general about sharing. He had previously told me he didn’t want to go back to sharing but that he would really like to share with his friend Colin Rogers.

“I asked who Colin was and Morley told me that he that he was a great friend of his. It turned out he was a 58 year old man with a learning disability living in a large shared house in North Oxford which is closing down.

“Shortly after our meeting I arranged for Colin to visit with his sister and Colin loved Erdington House

“This has all happened within a few weeks - Housing 21, the care and housing provider said they had never had a shared tenancy before and that it would be complicated to set up. However with a can-do attitude from all concerned we have absolutely rocked it. The chaps now have the keys and are visiting every day and moved in during early June.

“Morley had no money to pay his deposit but Acre Housing (Styleacres- his current landlord) have agreed to lend him the money which is amazingly kind of them

“We have two very happy people and there is a cost saving to the council and taxpayer as a result of this arrangement”

Councillor Lawrie Stratford, Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “This story provides a real insight in to the day to day work of some of our adult social care workers. It’s sometimes difficult work but it can also be very rewarding as in this case.

“Unlike work on highways or in libraries or at fire stations, adult social care work can often be invisible to the large part of the population. We wish Morley and Colin a happy house share and say thanks to Caroline and her colleagues, including those from partner agencies, for making this happen regardless of some difficulties which arose.”