All aboard for Charlie's Journey

“I’ve turned my life completely around,” beams Charlie. “I did go through a tough time and I was struggling a lot with anxiety. Life was quite difficult before I moved in - I was in hospital before. They told me about Moor House, I had loads of options and I chose to come here.”

A music lover and an aspiring radio DJ, Charlie was gifted a set of decks by his grandad when he moved into Moor House in April 2020. The decks take pride of place in his living room together with a Pioneer DJ mixer and a set of speakers.

For Charlie, living at Moor House is a crucial part of his journey to realising his dreams of one day becoming a DJ.

He says: “It has a nice, homely feeling. I was really excited to move here and have a place of my own. I’ve loved music since I was little. My dad got me into rap when I was four and my mum loves reggae.

“As I got older, I wanted to do the DJ side of things. Getting my decks from my grandad when I moved in here is what made me go to college, it all links together.”

Since living at Moor House, he has enrolled onto a Level 2 music technology course at Shrewsbury College where he is learning how to make music using software called Logic Pro X.

His favourite artists include Dizzee Rascal and Protoje, and he lists Chris Moyles as his favourite DJ.

He’s also brought the house down playing DJ sets in the garden at summer barbeque parties.

As well as the decks, he’s learnt how to play the piano and programme drum beats. Three days a week, Charlie gets a taxi at 7.15am on the dot to the nearby train station for the hour-long journey to college.

“When I first moved in, I was too anxious to go on the train. I feel really confident getting the train now,” says Charlie.

Before the pandemic hit, Charlie had his own daily show “The Charlie Thomas show” on Hereford Hospital radio, and now he’s planning to start a supported internship with BBC Radio Shropshire in September which he is very excited about.

And it’s not just music that Charlie loves with his passion for football coming a very close second. A Shrewsbury fan for the past nine years, a calendar of his beloved team adorns his wall. He admits it is a labour of love and laughingly groans when he tells us: “I went to Cambridge last Saturday, we had 31 shots at goal and drew nil nil!”

The love of the game runs in his family. He catches the train on his own to his grandparent’s house in Ludlow to listen to matches - “Me and my grandad listen to football on Radio Shropshire on Saturday afternoons,” Charlie says.

Liverpool also has a place in his heart thanks to his dad, and a photo frame on his windowsill captures a sweet moment of two-year-old Charlie dressed in his Liverpool kit together with his dad.

Football passion extends to his Xbox where he will happily spend time playing his favourite game FIFA. When he’s not playing FIFA he also enjoys watching films – a fan of Star Wars, a giant framed poster in his apartment pays homage to his love of the film.

Moving to Moor House has, importantly, helped relationships with his family and helped him to make friends.

Charlie explains: “Things are better now. My relationship with my family has improved and I now see them regularly. Mum keeps telling me she’s proud of me. She says that Moor House has really helped me a lot and made me more independent.

“I’ve made loads of friends here and I’ve made mates on my course. Before I came here, I didn’t have many friends. On a nice, warm summer’s day, I make myself a cuppa and socialise with my flatmates in the garden. Life is really good. I used to be very shy and I’m now very confident,” he adds.

Having never lived on his own, Moor House has also helped Charlie learn valuable life skills, with the support of SIL’s dedicated staff. A timetable in his kitchen handily reminds him of how to organise his day and plan his schedules.

“I get loads of support from the staff who are really nice and kind. Living here, I’ve done loads of different things - cooking, cleaning and looking after myself really well. My 21st birthday was in lockdown and staff made me a massive chocolate birthday cake which was really nice,” he says.

He sheepishly grins that he’d “never made a pot noodle before!”. Now with his own kitchen, he has discovered a passion for cooking. His favourite dish is meatballs and pasta, but Charlie’s talents don’t stop there. He’s also a steak supremo and a whizz at the perfect cooked English breakfast.

And with all of the confidence and skills Moor House has given him, Charlie is ready for the next stage of his journey.

Charlie says: “I’m now looking to move into a one-bedroom house which is four minutes up the road. I’ll miss everyone but I’m now ready to move on to independent living. I’m really proud of everything I’ve done at Moor House.”