Sarah Kingston has wowed the team at Seaham View by making massive strides forward to achieve independence.

The 31-year-old, who has been supported at Seaham View for the past eight months, has started using public transport, put together a gym routine and is volunteering at a local stable.

As well as attending exercise classes and doing activity sessions, Sarah has also started budgeting her money, plus making meal plans, shopping and then cooking dishes.

Seaham View Deputy Manager Stuart Healer said it was a fantastic achievement for Sarah, who had previously spent a decade in hospital before coming to the County Durham-based residential home.

Stuart said: “It’s been incredible to see Sarah’s confidence grow as she pushes herself out of her comfort zone to build this life for herself.

“Staff are there to support her every step of the way, but Sarah’s been doing so many things independently. She’s really enjoying all the exercise and has been very committed to being healthy, which is great for her physically and mentally.

“But to see her budgeting, cooking, volunteering and using transport by herself has been amazing. She’s a shining example of what the people we support are capable of when they get the opportunity to try new things.”

Now, when Sarah wants to attend aquafit sessions or use the gym at the Raich Carter Centre, she uses the bus to travel there.

Sarah said she’s now planning more activities to try as she continues to become more independent.

Sarah said: “I’m hoping to go to a concert because I’ve never been to one before.

“I like Eminem and Rhianna, but they aren’t doing concerts at the moment, so I’m hoping to see the Pussycat Dolls. I also want to go on holiday to a caravan park soon, that would be good.

“I’m proud of myself for all I’m doing, I enjoy it and I feel happy.”