Social housing is ‘one big extended family’
I’m a proud Janner bird and when I think of home, I firstly think of Plymouth. Then I think about where I grew up in a council house in Efford with my mum, stepdad and brother. This could have been where my love of animals began, as I remember having loads of pets – cats, dogs and hamsters. We were lucky enough to have a lovely big garden, which also doubled up as a pet cemetery when my vast number of furry friends died!
Our family life was hectic and fun – I would class it as a proper working-class upbringing. I had lots of friends and used to go to Tothill Playing Fields and try to look cool. We were always up to some kind of mischief and I’ve definitely kept that sense of fun with me throughout my adult life. I was taught to be decent and respect other people, and make the most of what you have in life. I still live by those rules today.
“You never got a sense of being different because you lived in a council house. Far from it, we were all one big extended family – and that sums up social housing for me”Louise Turner, PCH Head of Property and Safety
I remember the house being really social and warm, with a big front room, which was ideal for me to practice my gymnastics (I was fairly obsessed with getting my gym badges!). That’s the other thing when I think about home – somewhere you can be completely yourself.
We later moved to George Street in Devonport above the shops. I loved being in such a central location, particularly when I was a teenager and heading to Union Street! I can remember having my 18th birthday at the Old Chapel pub – it’s the Co-op now.
There was a great sense of community in Devonport – all the neighbours would help out. You never got a sense of being different because you lived in a council house. Far from it, we were all one big extended family – and that sums up social housing for me.
Louise Turner is Head of Property and Safety at Plymouth Community Homes