Twenty stories

Susan's story continued....

Susie Grant

During her time in the long-stay hospital, Susan lived alongside 26 others on a ward with ‘just enough room to walk between the beds, sleeping tied to a cot and sharing communal clothes’. 
Stoke Park closed in 1997. 12 years ago she was first supported by us and moved into her own home in Thornbury where she has shared a happy life with her late husband Colin. We continue to support her daily to live the life she chooses.

Susan remembers: “I wasn’t happy at Stoke Park. I never had any choice and would not want to go back.”

Support worker Anne Sheppard, who supports Susan now but also worked as a nurse at Stoke Park when Susan was there, said: “I can understand why she used to get frustrated when she had this amount of intellegence and was not allowed to use any of it. Now, she sorts everything out herself in her life. She has got choice now, it means everything and is the most important thing she has got. You can get up when you want, go to bed when you want, watch what you want, play your music when you want, you eat what you want and she says what she wants.”

Derek's story continued...

Derek Christopher

He recently trialled assistive technology called Eye-Gaze and is now in receipt of his very own machine. The technology is calibrated to his eyes and allows him to manoeuvre an icon on-screen that responds in a spoken voice, allowing Derek to speak, something he’s never been able to do before.

Support worker Michele Lamerton said: “He achieved so much when he had a trial of it. He said ‘Hello, how are you?’ to his housemate. It was the first person he had ever spoken to, it was so emotional. He loves Radio 2 and was able to tell us from a list that this was what he wanted to listen to. His new machine will bring massive freedom and build and develop his communication.”


Joe's story continued....

Joe Jones

This speech was on the day Brandon Trust launched a new report focussing on the barriers people with disabilities face when using public transport. People listened. He later said: “It is important to speak out as I feel it is important everybody does their bit.”

In his speech, Joe said: “People with learning disabilities crave the same freedom and independence which all people do and these issues affect people nationwide. Being able to travel is very important to such independence.

“Without transport our lives become far more localised and people can end up just staying at home and being isolated. Amazing work has been done for people with learning disabilities in the last 20 years, but now is the time to finish it off properly by ensuring that all people of all abilities and needs can travel safely everywhere.”