“I am Leeanne and I am an RSA Fellow which stands for Royal Society of the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. I won the Lifetime Fellowship Award because I was wanting to write my own book about the life I had with my birth family and then taken into Care. I was abused as a child and therefore I was put into the Care System at the age of 16. I wanted to write my powerful and upsetting story on paper and maybe achieve a goal of putting it into a book format.
I was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy at eighteen months which is very slight. I always say that I am very lucky as I know some people who have the condition and they are worse off than me. I can walk on my own two feet and I don’t need any equipment to help me. It is invisible that I have cerebral palsy.
When the Coronavirus came about at first, I didn’t know what to expect and what would happen, but over time I understood what was happening to everyone in the world. I didn’t get told to stay indoors all the time because I have cerebral palsy. I don’t feel I am being treated any differently than anyone else who has a disability or health condition, and I don’t need any day to day support from care workers or professionals.
However, with the lockdown in place just now I am missing out on a lot of activities and opportunities that keep me connected to other people. I am usually very active person in my community, meeting friends, attending various groups, going to meetings about my book I am writing, doing talks and volunteering at my local church.
The lockdown is making me feel lonely as I am used to seeing people in person, but I am lucky to have so many friends to keep in contact with to keep me going through this.”