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Dennis lives life to the full thanks to successful service

20 July 2015

A retired Navy engineer from Sheffield who was unable to return home after having his leg amputated has been helped by a life changing city service.




Dennis Carter (70), who now lives in Base Green, was assisted by Age UK Sheffield’s Housing Support Service after his infected toe became gangrenous and he had to have his right leg removed.


Whilst recovering in hospital it became obvious that Dennis was going to struggle to return home as he lived in a second floor flat with no lift.


Dennis said: “I had a nice flat in Richmond but once I had my leg amputated I knew I wouldn’t be able to return home. I had no idea where to turn but thankfully the hospital put me in touch with Ruth from Age UK Sheffield who came to visit me to see how we could work together.


“Ruth helped me to find a new ground floor flat which was suitable for a wheelchair and also made sure I was claiming all the benefits I was entitled to so I didn’t have to worry about money as much.  Ruth also helped me to apply for some grants, for example we received some funding from the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust through the Armed Forces charity SSAFA to help with the cost of an electric wheelchair and a council grant bought some new furniture that I needed as a result of my surgery. Friends of the Elderly, Supporting Friends fund and The Electrical Charity also provided funding.


“The electric wheelchair has been life changing because it means I can get out and about. Losing a leg isn’t the easiest thing in the world to cope with but I wasn’t going to get depressed about it. I just wanted to get on with life. I now go out at least six days a week – I like to go into town and I hope to get to Crystal Peaks next. I can’t thank Ruth enough as without her help I would have really struggled.”


The Housing Support Service is targeted at people facing a housing crisis or at risk of hospital admission who often have long-term illness, lower resilience and reduced capability to manage everyday life or self-care. Specialist Age UK Sheffield staff work to find solutions to whatever problems are affecting someone’s ability to live life to the full, in their own home for example poverty, depression or restricted mobility.


Ruth Thomas, from Age UK Sheffield’s Housing Support Service who worked with Dennis, said: “We offer a very personalised service so every client I see has different needs and my job is about working closely with each person to find out what challenges they face and how we can help them to live life to the full in appropriate accommodation.


“I have always been amazed by Dennis’ positive outlook despite what he has been through. He just wanted to get on and do things himself and he very much concentrates on the things he can do, not what he can’t which is very refreshing. I was pleased to be able to help him get some of the practical things in order which enabled him to regain his independence and enjoy life again.”


Age UK Sheffield’s housing support service is funded through Sheffield City Council’s Supporting People programme which was originally set up in 2003.