Before becoming a Canopy tenant you will have the fantastic opportunity of being a self-helper, which means you join the volunteer team, help do up your own property and learn a variety of refurbishment skills in the process.  You can choose all your own colours and how you want your home to look. Sometimes it can be hard work, but everyone who self-helps finds it an extremely positive and beneficial experience! You meet new people and have a right laugh! Still not sure?….Here is Eva’s story about her self-help experience.

An interview with Eva

Q: Did you find the thought of self-help daunting?

A: Yes very daunting. I had lack of social communication with people. I didn’t know what to expect.

Q: Did it encourage you to want to live in a Canopy house the thought of doing self-help?

A: Yes definitely, most of places treat you like a number but Canopy didn’t. I liked the idea of self-help because you get to do up your own house and have a feel for it and the area. I met new people too. I think self-help is a really great idea.

Q: What was your first day on site like?

A: Very fun but very hectic. It was the last day finishing someone else’s house. 2 teams were working together at full speed to get it finished. I didn’t get to know many people on the 1st day but it settled down after that.

Q: Was it what you expected?

A: No, it was better. I had no idea what it would be like.

Q: Has Self-helping had any long-term benefits?

A: Yes, I have moved into my house and I still come in every week to volunteer. It’s good for me. I work at a desk for part of the week so it’s refreshing to do DIY. My communication skills are developing as well as my practical skills. I always liked DIY but I have learnt more things.

Q: Has the experience encouraged you stay longer in your house?

A: Yes! I actually had an unexpected opportunity to leave the house but I watched everyone put time and effort into it to make it special for me so I wanted to stay. I am happy I stayed.

Q: If you had to describe self-help to someone who needed a house with Canopy what would you say?

A: Self-help is a great opportunity to get involved with the future of your house. You feel like you are doing something and achieving something rather than sitting back. You have the option to choose your own colours and it reflects who you are in your own home. It makes you feel better and you appreciate it more. You also work with people and communicate, so your social skills improve. Not only that but you also learn practical skills for a future jobs.

Click on image to see a short film explaining Canopy’s self-help model.