When I was diagnosed with my learning disability, I felt really negative. Everyone told me what I couldn’t do rather than what would be possible to do in my life.
However, now I have a full-time job, I have been married for nearly 3 years, and I have just starred alongside Kit Harington in a short film!
I am a member of the Mencap Learning Disability Recruitment interview panel. Our role is to interview people that apply to come and work at Mencap. We ask them a set of questions to try and find out what their attitude is like, what they know about learning disability and how they would work with people with a learning disability. This interview was a bit different though! It was really good fun to do it in a funny way.
Before filming with Kit, I was a bit nervous but I was excited as well. I was nervous because I wanted to do a good job and represent Mencap positively while I was with him. I was also nervous about getting the lines right and felt the pressure of acting with a professional. When I first saw Kit, I was also a bit giggly!
Kit was really friendly though, I didn’t need to worry. He really made me feel comfortable while I was working with him. He asked me about my work at Mencap. One of the lines that I had to say during the filming made him laugh, so that then made me laugh! He was really supportive and patient towards Lloyd and myself when we were filming. It was really fun to film with Kit and I was a very lucky girl to be in the room with him!
I think it is really important that we have a Celebrity Ambassador because Kit can use his name to talk on behalf of Mencap to the media about his relationship with his cousin. I hope this will raise awareness of the barriers people with a learning disability face in their lives, like poor healthcare, lack of employment opportunities and discrimination. This is really powerful and real because it is from someone who has had real life experiences!
Kit has a cousin with a learning disability and knows how important it is for the public to understand what a learning disability is. He has a really good personal knowledge of the big everyday challenges that his cousin faces.
It is important that the film portrays people with a learning disability in a positive way and it’s really nice that it shows my sense of humour. It’s not very often that people with a learning disability get to have their voices heard. Everything is negative and the public never get a chance to see the positive things we can do with the right support. I hope films like this can show the public that we’re not so different to everyone else. We want to be listened to and included like everyone, and just need a bit of help along the way – just like Kit does in this interview!