Learning Disability Week 2019: Holly’s Story
Hi, my name is Holly. I live in Kirkintilloch, in my own home. It is a friendly neighbourhood and I really like it there. I want to tell you a bit of my story (so far) so please read on.
Prior to being supported by C-Change I was not leading the life I wanted. I was supported by another organisation (I will not name) and I was not happy. Different support workers would come in each day and none I got to know shared my interest in politics.
I used to sit and watch television with my support worker. I got very bored with them and ended up asking them to leave. My support was not working for me. My support was based on housework – It was not fun.
Since receiving the right support my life has very much changed for the better. I feel so much happier now. I have been matched up with the right support sharing my interests in politics and human rights.
I am very interested in politics and with encouragement I contacted the Conservative Party. I got involved doing office work and putting leaflets out. I contacted a local Councillor David Meikle to get more involved. I went to the count for the first time at the European elections, then the general election and the Scottish Referendum where I stayed up until the early hours – it was very exciting.
I get support when I choose to. I live in my own home and I am very independent. I have my own support budget and I use it to do the things I want to do in my life. People with disabilities should have a life they choose.
I am a Director of dates-n-mates, a dating and friendship agency run by and by for people with learning disabilities. l am an event Director and part of my job is to help organise and attend events. I also meet with members to discuss what they like and want from dates-n-mates (this link will take you away from our website). I have been a Director of dates-n-mates for over 10 years now! We celebrated our 10 Year Anniversary last year.
I am involved in research around choice for people with disabilities, i.e not having to go to bed early due to the support they receive. We are going to start campaign for people with disabilities to have a right to a social life. This is very important to me.
I now do public speaking on human rights and political topics. I have also attended three Conservative Party conferences and have even met former Prime Minister David Cameron (at the time he was PM). Though I am a bit unsure now where my political loyalty sits due to Brexit, which I do not support.
I am my own person with my own views and interests and I am leading the life I have chosen to.
By Holly Millar