I came to The Grange in 2011. My disability is ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder), anxiety, epilepsy and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
I started as a day client and then became a tenant in supported living. It was a big step for me. When I moved in I found it was much more of a challenge than I thought. It was very hard and I found it trickier than I thought.
As time went on things slowly started to get a bit easier. I eventually found my feet. I am now able to do more stuff independently. I enjoy having my own space; I started a work experience voluntary placement at Polesden Lacey (National Trust).
Before that I did a week’s placement at the Legal and General insurance company headquarters in Kingswood. I gained quite a lot in that and learnt quite a bit there.
A while later I started a work placement at one of the Surrey Hubs (an information point that provides help and support for people with disabilities of all kinds, elderly people and carers and support workers and so on.) I get quite a bit of satisfaction when I have helped a customer or client there. All the volunteers that volunteer or work at the Surrey Hubs have a disability or impairment of some kind. I have also started a work placement with the Surrey and Borders NHS Partnership as a Volunteer – patient lead assessors observing different care organisations within the trust.
I also go out and about on my own using public transport.
Outside of my working week I have been out and about a bit more going to a night club run by and aimed at people with learning disabilities. I have made quite a few friends there. I have become a DJ there as I also have a talent in music. Speaking of that I started having music production lessons with a DJ/Producer who also has a learning disability and has helped me a lot in understanding digital music. Last year I co-hosted an event called ‘The Grange Has Got Talent’ which was a great success.
I also attended a conference on people with learning disabilities and relationships at a Hotel in Bristol with the skills training manager and a couple of support workers. As a result I am in the process of arranging a speed dating event for those with learning disabilities.
I have also started taking up dancing. This was inspired as a dance group (Ceroc Surrey) came to a social club for people with disabilities that I attend once a week to do a little show and it was a lot of fun. Since I started going dancing I have made more friends and met quite a lot of nice people and became more confident.
I found it better than going to the gym!