Curo is privileged to count a number of sports stars among its customers. One is 22-year-old wheelchair basketball player Macauley.
Macauley, who grew up in Midsomer Norton, was referred with his partner to a Curo scheme in Bath which provides flats and studios for people who are at risk of being made homeless.
“I’d been sofa-surfing and staying with my mum – there was nowhere affordable that we could find to live. We came to Curo a couple of months ago and now have a studio apartment together.”
Macauley was born with a condition that affected one of his feet and as a child underwent numerous operations to his leg as he grew up. At the age of 11 the decision was taken to amputate his leg.
Sports-mad Macauley was determined to not let his disability hold him back. “When I was 12 I went to an event where you could try out a range of sports for disabled people. Wheelchair basketball clicked with me and I started going to a local team in Bristol every week.”
By 15, with a prosthetic leg and his own sports wheelchair, his talent on the court was soon getting noticed nationally. “I was spotted at a national tournament by Team GB and they invited me to a Team GB training camp.”
At just 16, Macauley was representing Great Britain at an international tournament in Dubai. “It was an amazing experience,” says Macauley. “We came third and I was presented with a bronze medal. The ceremony was great – big crowds and loads of photographers. Since then I’ve been to Japan and Germany. I played in a professional league in Cologne for a year and today I play for Exeter.
“Here at Curo there’s a lot of support if you need it,” says Macauley. “My flat has wider doors so I can use a wheelchair, but I’m very independent. I drive a regular car and ride motorbikes; I don’t let anything beat me. People look at me and say: you’re disabled, you can’t do anything. Then they find out what I can do they’re shocked because I can do more than they can.”
This year Macauley becomes eligible for the basketball seniors and he’s set his sights on making the GB squad for the Paralympics. “2020 may be too soon, but I hope to be in the team for 2024 or 2028.”
Meanwhile Macauley and Chance are continuing to hunt for their next home and have a viewing lined up for somewhere they hope will work out for them.
Curo provides supported accommodation for couples, families and single young people in Bath. Find out more about what’s on offer here.