World Down’s Syndrome Day: Becky and Kim
This year, World Down’s Syndrome Day is focusing on the friendships and communities that develop around people with Down’s Syndrome. Kim, House Manager talks about her experience of “My Friends, My Community” with her daughter Becky, who is 26 next month.
Becky is very sociable and lives in a house with 4 of her closest friends in Cornwall who are, in some respects, like family! When I visit Becky, I’m treated like one of the family by everyone, including staff – we all sit and have a chat and find out how things are going for us all since we last met.
Although life in Becky’s house can be a bit of a rollercoaster, everyone gets along very well.
As well as having fun together watching TV, talking (a lot), sharing meals and so on, they also argue about mundane stuff like missing ham, leggings and whose turn it is to clean!
My only concern is that she rarely meets friends outside of organised events because getting there is not easy and staff not always available – her brother does help though if it’s a party or something. I worry that in the future there will be more pulls on the support she gets and that the social aspect of her life will be deemed to be ‘less important’ – this has already happened to a certain degree with her not being able to attend dance classes in a neighbouring town because of transport/staff hours.
Her favourite trip is to the pub for Sunday Roast, either with one person or the entire household. You can’t walk through her town without someone saying ‘hello’ or waving to her. If she got in trouble or was unwell, someone would undoubtedly know her enough to help.
This community is key and so important, as far as I’m concerned, in helping keep Becky safe whilst ensuring she has as much independence as possible.
Recently, Becky was being harassed by a man in a pub (he thought he was being funny) and he was thrown out and barred by the bar man.
Becky’s home and her town are her community, and she loves it. It’s somewhere she feels safe.