As a Sergent Major Keith travelled the world, but little did he realise that one day he’d find his community in Cardiff Bay.
Keith is originally from Tredegar but now lives in Cardiff Bay. He is currently having his home adapted to make it more accessible for him as he uses a wheelchair. We caught up with Keith to have a chat about his life, his home, and his community.
Keith spent 30 years in the army, where he worked all over the world. He explains: “It was the best thing I ever done. I loved it! My father told me when I joined at 16, ‘you’ll never last’ and 30 years later I left, and I finished as a Sergent Major. I proved him very wrong.”
Once he left the army, Keith looked for a job and as he had many transferrable skills, he saw himself go into the care sector. For many years he ran care homes and care agencies in Swansea, helping those with different needs. Keith said: “I loved it. I had amazing staff that I worked with, and I really enjoyed going out, meeting new people and finding out how we could help them and what support we could provide. We had some really amazing clients that we cared for.”
People and relationships really matter to Keith. From his community to his family, and everyone in between, everyone is important to him.
Keith shared: “There’s a real sense of community down here. You don’t get many blocks of flats where people don’t argue all the time. Everyone looks out for everybody. It’s a very good community. They’ve been very good with me, since I’ve been in the chair, and they often pop in to check on me.
“Whilst I was in hospital, neighbours were coming to visit and see how I was. Another neighbour came and cleaned for me because I was unable to.
“I have a great network of friends here too; we all look out for each other. I have nothing but praise for my friend Stevie, he helps me day to day with a lot of things. It’s so expensive to get a carer so he comes and helps me out.”
Keith is friends with many of the other ex-service men who also live in his block. Keith said: “When I moved in, it was made easier as I made friends with the others who used to be in the forces. Even though we are all from different regiments and didn’t know each other before living here, we all still get along well.”
Having the adaptation work done to his home will make such a difference to Keith’s life. He explained: “My family are very important to me. I see my grandchildren every couple of weeks when they come to visit. The younger ones are a bit scared when they see me in the chair, so having the work done means I can get outside easily and play with them. It’s very important to me. It gives me a lot more independence.
“I’m happy for the workers to come in and get the work done as it’s going to make a difference to me. I can’t fault Trivallis at all. I’ve got no issues and no complaints about the work that they have done so far. How I can I whinge about what has been done here? It’s amazing.
“I’m very happy here. After having the work done, it’s home here now.”
Keith is just one of the many friendly and remarkable tenants we have living here in Cardiff Bay. We want to hear your stories about living in our homes and being a part of our community. We want to work with you and others like Keith to help keep that sense of community going while the works continue in the Bay area.
If you’d like to share your story get in touch at email@example.com