1. Having a disability means that I have had to learn to think outside of the box, and develop my own way to do things. Sometimes it might look bizarre, or even dangerous but if it works don’t knock it.
2. I can shoot, yes I do target shooting using an air pistol. This is something I love doing, and have been doing at a wonderful family run shooting range about 20 minutes drive from where I live.
3. Read fairly quickly, I thoroughly enjoy reading a good book. Mostly I opt for true stories/biographies type books, but will give most genres a try.
4. Shopping, I adore mooching around shops and browsing for items and potential gifts. I’m good at finding a bargain. Managed to bag a whole lot of brand new tops from a shop that was closing down a few years back. When I worked out the average cost of each item, it came to 34p per item!! They’ve all been worn, so none were unused purchases.
5. Planning ahead, and making sure there’s back-up plan in case of problems or lack of access. This is a must have skill set if you’re a wheelchair user. Each part of a journey has to be planned ahead, and alternative routes saved on the phone for emergencies. Checking access ahead of arrival, also eating places, and the whereabouts of accessible loos. Ensuring step free access all along, and booking transport assistance, tickets to events in advance making it totally clear that help with ramps is vital, and I cannot stand, let alone walk a step, so full awareness of this is on record at destination and en-route.
When you see someone for the first time, you automatically build up and impression of who they are, and what you imagine them to be like. It’s something we all do, it’s just an automatic reaction we do subconsciously even.
When someone first sees me, I am fully aware that the first thing they’ll notice is my disability. I want them to see the friendly, kind, shy, yet also in some ways confident person that I am. To realise I am reasonably intelligent, and capable of understanding things, finding my way, know what I want, and will help if I possibly can.
People make far too many incorrect assumptions about me. If you’re not sure about something, or want to know something, then ask politely. I’ll answer if it’s an appropriate question, or decline to if it isn’t.
Ok so by now most people are aware that foodbanks exist, I wish there wasn’t a need for them, but many are in need, and they help so much. Also many Churches will help if you’re in a tight spot and need a bit of extra support.
But, there are others who are struggling just as much but are too embarrassed to use food banks, or have been brought up to always pay their way whatever the circumstances. Only the other day I was party to a conversation on this subject. Someone was talking about a place that provides free food – not a foodbank, but the food is provided for nothing. I had to explain that these kinds of places are available for absolutely anyone to use as often as they wish, they are available across the country (UK) run by various people independently and purely with the intention of reducing food wastage.
The food is perfectly safe to eat, but is often short dated, or on the last day where it cold have been sold, so stores donate it to reduce the amount thrown away. Also some people who grow their own produce and have a surplus supply give some to these places – often called community fridges, or pantry’s. If you are interested in these either for an environmental or financial point of view, please please make some enquiries in your local area and find out what’s available. You could even come back and leave a comment if you find and use one near you.