For this years Learning Disability Awareness Week, Expect Ltd want to help bust myths about what people with an LD can and can’t do and showcase some of our lovely service users and help them share their stories.
First up is Suzanne;
Suzanne visits Expects Bowersdale Resource Day Centre (BRC) every day during the week.
Suzanne- “I’m at my happiest when I am able to have fun and mix with my friends.”
‘I love to go walking and visit my local park for relaxation, I don’t let my disability hold me back. The park I visit has outdoor gym equipment. My favourite is the walker, I always have a go on that. Being in the park makes me feel chilled and relaxed.
I really enjoy taking part in Arts and Crafts activities at the Day Centre. Painting and colouring helps my mental health, keeps me calm. I love Bingo games at the Centre and I lead the Bingo sessions by handing out the books and pens to players. I love playing board games and card games such as Pontoon and Blackjack to. Coming to the Day Centre makes me happy.
I’m at my happiest when I am able to have fun and mix with my friends. I have plenty of friends at the Centre. I come every day when I can.
I also enjoy going out to do my shopping, The Works is my favourite shop because I can get my colours, paints and drawing books there.
I’m happy with my life. I like to be out and about doing the things I love.’
Next is Bowersdale Resource Centre (BRC) Volunteer and service user Ian.
Ian- “I enjoy being independent and talk to people a lot more now when I am feeling down”.
‘I enjoy walking, it helps me with my mental health and wellbeing. I have lost a lot of weight recently which is great and I am a lot less stressed. I enjoy being independent and I talk to people a lot more now when I am feeling down, which really helps me and keeps me positive.
I’ve been attending the Centre for a number of years now. I currently love working on the gardening project, maintaining and watering the plants, keeping the spider babies alive. The gardening project gives me a purpose, I never miss a chance to work on the garden or on the plants.
I like being an official Volunteer at the Centre and help out where I can with other events throughout the year as well. I’ve even been here for Christmas Dinner, the Centre is a big part of my life.
The Centre has helped me to develop my friendship group, I attend the Centre everyday and have met loads of new friends. It’s great that people come together here.
Outside of the Centre, my other hobby is collecting Teddy Bears, I’ve loads, too many to count, of all shapes and sizes. I’ve got names for them all- some are even named after the Day Centre staff!
My life has changed a lot recently as I’ve moved which is great for me. Im very settled now. I like to go out for meals with support staff from where I live. My favourite meal is a Chicken Burger. I also enjoy going on day trips to places, I’m off to the Museum later this week. I’m happy with where I live. It’s great. I get on with the other people I live with.
I’ve recently been on my first holiday to Blackpool which I really enjoyed and was a dream for me. I’m hoping to go back there again with the Day Centre later in the year. I even managed to get a Dinosaur teddy from Blackpool Zoo whilst I was there to add to my collection!’
Finally Sally, who also attends our Bowersdale Resource Centre (BRC).
Sally- “Without my independence, I have nothing”.
I like attending the Day Centre. It keeps me independent and I enjoy getting out and about. Staff are friendly. I was dubious at first, but did some drawing on my first day which stopped me being anxious and now I love it! I miss the Centre if I don’t come for a few days. I enjoy socialising with people similar to myself and enjoy playing pool. I’ve made good friends at the Centre.
I’ve recently got a mobility scooter which is helping me get out more. It’s a life-line for me, without my independence I have nothing. It’s important for me to go out and maintain my independence. I enjoy going to Southport for example, relaxing along the promenade, going to the beach and visiting the arcades etc. I also like to swim. I’ve not done it for a while but used to really enjoy it and find it relaxing. I love the feeling of the water around me.
Helping other people where I can is my passion as well despite my LD. I phone my friend down the street, we check on each other and I pop in to see that he is ok. I also help another friend with reading letters for him as best as I can and help him make phone calls as well.
I live everyday to the full.
A big thank you to Suzanne, Ian and Sally for agreeing to be interviewed this week.