‘What am I going to do?’

Iwant to tell you what has happened in my life since I last wrote
in June. Then I had to move from my carer’s home because she could
not cope with the registration and all the letters telling her what
to do. I met Sian Lockwood from the National Association of Adult
Placement Schemes. She said the same thing was happening to carers
in other boroughs. They were trying to get it changed. We wrote to
community care minister Stephen Ladyman and arranged to see him
last November. He listened to what I told him and said he would
change the rules so people like my carer would not have to have
registration. The visit was good and we were very pleased something
was going to happen.

It took a while for the new standards to be published and I did
some work with Sian to help make them easy to understand. We are
now consulting with people who live in adult placement schemes
about the new rules so people like me can say how we want our homes
and carers to be checked. At the beginning of February we did a day
in Leeds and we are doing a day in London in March.

It is going well in my new home, where I have lived for six months.
I can’t be left on my own at home. I go to a day centre on the days
I am not busy and my carer can go and do her job in an older
people’s home. She is at home with me at night. Last week, I
thought I’d have to move again. I found out my centre is closing on
28 February because Croydon Council won’t pay for us to go there.
It is a lovely day centre and 22 people go there. The staff are
very nice. They do a lot, like take us swimming and bowling.

Closing this centre makes me feel like I am being uprooted again,
like when I had to move from my home. What is going to happen to
the people who go to the day centre? Croydon is closing two other
centres too. Are they going to find the people who go to them
something else to do? I hope they do drop-in centres for these
people. They did say I could go to an old people’s day centre and
sit and talk to the old people. I like old people, but I don’t want
to do this. I talked to my carer and she said I would not have to
move. If there are days when I am going to be at home, she will
work round it.

I try to make sure I don’t stop my carers doing the things they
want and they try to make sure I can do the things I want to. I
hope this will work. At the moment I am very busy so don’t have
time to be at home or at a day centre. I am visiting lots of
schools, talking about my life and asking the children to draw me
pictures about bullying. I think sometimes people bully people with
learning difficulties because they don’t know anyone with a
learning difficulties and/or what we are like. I am making good
contact with children and teachers and hope the children now
understand we are people just like them.

Mabel Cooper is a member of the National Forum of People with
Learning Difficulties

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