This is my first diary update. It’s Monday again! I had a nice weekend which I spent with my boyfriend.
I live independently in an ‘extra care facility’ which means I have my own flat but there is a staff member available 24/7.
We have a communal area and that’s where we can all get together for a bit of company.
I moved here literally a couple of weeks before lockdown straight from living with my parents. That was a bit of a shock when we went into lockdown. I was lucky that those of us who lived in the complex were able to socialise because we’d locked down together.
I think I would have been living in an institution by now, if it wasn’t for the All Wales Strategy. I have a learning disability and we think that I am autistic too.
I did have a diagnostic assessment a little while ago, but they couldn’t say for certain if I was on the spectrum because I was missing one of the criteria.
I do wear headphones a lot when I am out and about because I can’t cope with a lot of noise. I use noise cancelling headphones or play some music I like, just to cancel out the sounds.
I work as Chair of the Steering Group for the Regional Partnership Board – I chair the quarterly meetings which look at housing, health and social services for people with a learning disability.
I am the person with ‘lived experience’ on that steering group. I get paid for two hours per week to do this.
I also volunteer with RCT People First. They’re having their offices refurbished at the moment, so we’re working from home. I’m working on my Blog – a monthly update of what’s happening within the Steering Group.
I don’t use the bus, because I have had bad experiences in the past and they make me anxious, but I do use taxis and the staff here (and my parents) will drive me places if needs be. I’m out and about a lot with my self advocacy group, helping at events and attending meetings.