John’s story- Giving back to the community
"Because I have a learning disability, I needed support when I was younger, and now I’m older I want to give back to the younger ones. ”
“I have a learning disability, and I’ve been involved with lots of different groups in the past. Just over two years ago I saw on social media that Dates N Mates coming into the Falkirk area. I was a member for about a year, and then the chance of a paid director position came up, and I applied and was successful. Now I am the director of Dates N Mates Falkirk, I’ve been in the post for just over a year now.
It makes me feel good and happy that I’ve been able to do something. After we opened up in Stirling and Clackmannanshire, we did a first trip to Stirling castle. We had a new member who came along with her social worker. She was talking about how she wanted to be involved a lot more with the charity. She’s only 22 years old, and not used to travelling on her own. The next event was bingo, and she wanted to join, but her social worker couldn’t support her to every event. I offered to meet her at her house, take the bus with her, and take her home on the bus after the events, until she felt confident. So we swapped numbers, and that’s what we did. She texts me every day just to check in.
After two months, she’s able to travel on her own now. She still texts me to ask if I can check the bus times for her. She tells me how much she appreciates me doing that for her. Every time she comes to any of our events, she texts me about how much she enjoys the events and meeting the members. It feels good to know how much someone enjoys the events. It makes me feel happy and proud because they appreciate the charity, and me as well.
I like to help in the community and with charities for people with learning disabilities. Because I have a learning disability, I had support when I was younger, and now I’m older I want to pay back to the younger ones.”
Find out more about Dates N Mates on their website (this link will take you away from our website).
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