I met with a young man called Bartek who lives in Wandsworth Mencap independent living home with other house members in London.
My reason for this visit was as part of my Top Talent Scheme and as I am the Parliamentary affairs assistant/spokesperson for Mencap I am very interested in people’s real life stories and how they face challenges in having a learning disability.
He is a very bright man and likes to help his dad by getting work experience and I would like to see more people to do the same with the right support, he helps his dad with building tasks and I asked him what he would like to do in the future, he said he would like to be a tree surgeon.
People like Bartek have got great ideas about what they want to do but there are lots of things that stop people in doing what they want to do.
I felt great meeting with Bartek and listening to what he had to say and I would like to meet him again to see if there any changes that have improved his life.
I would like to see him having a full time job and living more independent with the right support and taking control in his own life.
I am working on the Welfare and Work Bill that the Government is working on about benefits changes.
I am worried about how this will affect people in having less benefits and people with disabilities have struggled in finding work opportunities for a long time and is going to be very difficult to see what the turnout would be like for them after the cuts.
I am getting people with Learning disability to talk to their MP about their concerns about the changes on the Welfare and Work Bill.
People with a learning disability should not give up in life and lots of challenges will come in a person’s life, I also struggled in finding work and support but with the right opportunity I managed in finding work through Mencaps employment service.
Having a job is not only about getting paid it’s about getting confidence in talking to people, having your own home and having your own responsibility in paying your own bills.
People with a learning disability face discrimination in many ways like not getting the opportunity to have a job, not having the right health treatment, facing hate crime, not having the right education or not having your own home and there are lots of reasons for people not getting the right opportunity to do what they want and how to mix with their community.
It is very hard if there is no support around you when you need it for any-one so you can imagine how hard it is for people with a learning disability and how complicated it can be to do what you want in life.