Anyone who’s ever undertaken a house move will agree it can be a stressful and daunting process.
But for Michael Henshall, moving to both a new area and brand new Weaver Vale property was just the fresh start he desperately needed.
Michael and his family have been in their new house in Chelford for just a few weeks, but the quiet Cheshire village already feels like home.
“Moving to Chelford has given us all fresh start,” said Michael
“We couldn’t be happier with the house – it’s really good quality and we have a downstairs toilet and dishwasher for the first time! The village is lovely as well – we have popped out to the shops few times and our neighbours have made us feel really welcome. My wife really likes village life and my son has really settled as well.
“Moving here has also had a really positive impact on my mental health. I am in a much better place now. My family have helped me get through the dark times.”
Just a year ago, Michael’s head was in a very dark place.
Michael has a knack for helping other people – skills he put to good use supporting over 300 young people during his time as a Welfare Officer at a secondary school.
He added: “I loved the job. It was challenging but I enjoyed helping students. They would come to me with all sorts of issues, but increasingly I began to see more young people who were experiencing issues with their mental health. I had students who talked openly about committing suicide.
“It was a full on job. I was struggling to switch off when I got home and my own mental health began to suffer. It wore me down and I went to some dark places. I always did my best for the students but things took their toll.”
Out of work and struggling with his mental health, Michael’s issues weren’t helped by the area he was living in at the time.
He said: “Our house was next to a busy road and there were issues with anti-social behaviour and drug dealing. It just added to all the stress. My wife has village roots, so we decided it was the right time to move.
“We were encouraged to bid for properties via West Cheshire Homes and that’s when we came across these new homes in Chelford. It looked like a lovely, quiet village – just the right place for all of us.
“We did our research on Weaver Vale as well to see what type of landlord they were – we knew they had a good reputation. We put our bid in and hoped for the best.
“We got the property and we were over the moon! Heath from the Lettings Team took us through everything and he was brilliant. Heath couldn’t have been nicer and kept us in the loop from day one. If there was an issue – Heath would let us know and reassured us it would be sorted.”
And Michael admits the move had had positive effect on his mental health.
Michael said: “I have some really good coping mechanisms. I meditate and I was lucky enough to get some really good support through the New Leaf programme.
“I’m now in full-time employment doing something I love – helping people. I am mentoring people and helping them get back into training and work.
“I’ve also got the running bug! My wife and I started the Couch to 5k programme and I’m training for a 10K race later this year!
“I was in a dark place this time last year, but with the love of my family I’ve pulled through. Everything has fallen into place – my health, job and moving into this lovely new home. I can’t thank Weaver Vale enough for giving us a fresh start.”