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Diary update, Sophie: July 2023

author icon author icon 26/07/2023 author icon Member Stories

One of my friends came down yesterday – the weather was glorious and we had a lovely dip in the sea and a trip to Caldy Island.  The water is so clear down here – you can see the bottom of the sea.

I’m still working at the restaurant, but I gave up my other job (cleaning) as I couldn’t do everything especially with all my unpaid work such as being a representative on the Learning Disability Ministerial Advisory Group.

I’m managing financially but being careful to budget my money.  I had a fright when I got home from work the other night though – I didn’t get in until midnight and my electric wasn’t working.  I rang the emergency helpline but they couldn’t come until the next morning to sort it out. It was a bit scary to be honest.

I still don’t have my bus pass sorted.  Back in November, Transport for Wales wrote to me to tell me it was due to expire.  They said I needed to get evidence of my points from the Personal Independence Payments.  When that letter came, I didn’t have enough points to qualify for a bus pass.  That meant I needed to apply via the local authority and get evidence from my GP.  I’m still waiting for the GP letter!  I am using my current bus pass and keeping my fingers crossed it’s still valid as they didn’t give me a date of expiry.

AdFest was great!  I really enjoyed it and was glad to be able to go. I couldn’t afford it last year when it was in north Wales.  I went with my sister Lucy and we’ve been back to Cardiff for a Drag Show since then too.

Thinking about the All Wales Strategy and the 40 year anniversary, I am sure that my life would be different if the All Wales Strategy hadn’t been implemented.  I wouldn’t be as independent as I am now without it. I do think there are things that could be done to make life easier for people with a learning disability though. 

Public transport in my area is challenging – we need better public transport and links within west Wales for sure.  I use the bus a lot but in my area they stop at 6 o clock in the evening so that makes things really difficult.

I stopped driving for medical reasons a few years ago, but now that I’m feeling a bit better, I may consider driving again – I’ll build my confidence up slowly by starting with short distances.

One of the self advocacy groups has asked me to take the issue of voter ID to LDMAG as they are concerned that the need to have ID will exclude many people who don’t drive and don’t have a passport.

I’ve got quite a few exciting things coming up in the diary – couple of concerts and a comedy show.  I’ll stay overnight in Cardiff for one of them, but the others are coach trips so it’s there and back in a day. My neighbour will  pick me up from the coach station and bring me home.

(photo credit: Natasha Hirst)

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