Living with Learning Disability – David’s Story
Life can be difficult for David as he is one of many people in our community with learning disabilities who spends most of his life isolated and lonely.
David is 54 years old, lives alone, has a speech impediment and stutters when he is stressed. David is also visually impaired and has a learning disability. Not being able to understanding social boundaries can make life challenging for David.
While standing in a local supermarket car park, David was approached by two young women who began to talk to him. After a while David asked the women if they were his friends.
“Yes, of course we’re your friends!” said the young women, “Now we’re friends, can you help us? We need some money to get home – could you lend us some? That’s what friends do.”
David wanted to help his new friends so he agreed. As he didn’t have any cash on him, the two young women offered to take David’s bank card and pin number to the nearest cash point. They promised they would return shortly with his card and money. David believed them.
The young women never returned and David’s bank account was cleared out. This left David stranded in Cheam, frightened, vulnerable and facing a long walk home to Epsom.
Later that day, after he had made it home, David was picked up by Nigel, his Sunnybank Driver Friend – a volunteer who drives David to The Sunnybank Trust’s weekly social club. Nigel noticed that David was stuttering more than usual and seemed rather flustered, but David didn’t want to talk. Nigel knew that there would be a Sunnybank advocate available at the Kites Club and spoke with Louise when they arrived.
As a trained advocate, Louise sat quietly with David until he was ready to talk about what had happened. David didn’t want to go to the police or his bank by himself, saying, “I don’t want to go on my own as I know they will put me down and make me feel bad about myself.”
Louise reassured David that she would support him in sorting out the problem. Together they went to the police to report the crime and spoke to David’s bank about the money that had been taken.
Thanks to the support from The Sunnybank Trust, the bank reimbursed David’s money, David was also able to make a police report and move on from this distressing event.
The Sunnybank Trust was there to help when David needed someone most, because that’s what real friends do.
The Sunnybank Trust is proud to be supported by Cairds Estate Agents.
Information: The Sunnybank Trust is based in Epsom and helps people with learning disabilities live fuller lives and enable them to have more control over decisions that affect them.
The charity provides –
• A befriending service, partnering volunteers with those who are often socially isolated
• An advocacy programme
• A weekly social club and drama club