Celebrating Learning Disability Week 2023

19 - 25 June 2023 is Learning Disability Week 

This year is all about busting myths about living life with a learning disability

This Learning Disability Week, we're celebrating the achievements and experiences of people with learning disabilities and challenging misconceptions. As part of this celebration, we met with the people we support, who have been sharing their stories about living life with a learning disability.

Deane, shared his passion for travel.

Deane enjoys foreign travel when ever he can.

"I've been on an aeroplane loads. I like to go on holidays, I've been to Cyprus, Spain and Jersey."

Deane continues to explain that he'd like to keep exploring the world saying

"I want to go somewhere new, or a cruise one day".

When Deane isn’t jet-setting across the globe, he keeps himself engaged and fulfilled with his brilliant, bright artwork. But that’s not all—Deane also channels his talents into crafting items from woodwork and recycled objects, while plotting his next adventure.

Deane with his artwork

Asha is a member of SPICE (Special People on Ice). SPICE is based at Slough Ice Arena and Asha has been skating with the group since 2005.

Every Sunday morning she joins a group skating lesson followed by hockey training. Asha explains “It helps me go faster”

Asha’s hockey team is the SPICE Jets and she has enjoyed travelling to Canada and the US several times to take part in Hockey tournaments with teams from all over the world. Asha adds “It was cold in Canada”.

Asha is also a keen supporter of the Bees hockey team and enjoys cheering them on alongside their mascot Buzz at their games at Slough.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Grant, who shared how he uses his talent and creativity with us.

Grant’s journey into the world of art began in his native country of New Zealand. Growing up, he was captivated by the pictures in his family home painted by Bruegel. These inspired Grant to explore his own artistic inclinations.

Developing his own style, his creations include vibrant colours, bold outlines and intricate details, resulting in beautiful and striking images.

Grant explained that his preferred mediums are pens and pencils, as he finds them more precise and less messy than paints. He adds

“It really helps my mind to concentrate on drawing”.

When he is not creating his artwork Grant enjoys several sports. He used to play basketball and played at the Beijing special Olympics. He now enjoys playing walking football in Maidenhead. Grant adds

“It is great to be given opportunities to try new things.”
Grant creating his artwork

We met with Ashleigh, who shared her quest for a healthier lifestyle.

As restrictions eased last year following Covid, Ashleigh felt it was time to try something new. She explained

“It was hard during Lockdown, you couldn’t go out, now that’s all over I decided I wanted to change my health. No more unhealthy me, Hello new me!”

Several months ago, Ashleigh joined a regular boot camp class, and began focusing on choosing healthy meals and trying to walk on a regular basis. “I got a smart-watch for Christmas, it helps me focus on staying active. I also only have a treat day on Friday instead of every day.”

Ashleigh explains why she enjoys her new approach to her fitness “I like to get out of the house a bit and do proper exercise, have fun and see my friends.”

“When I first started boot camp I struggled to finish the whole circuit, now I can do it all!”
“I say to myself even if it’s hard, I know I have to keep going.”

The results of her hard work are beginning to show, Ashleigh adds

“I can see the change in my face, my whole face lights up and you can see my smile more.”
Ashleigh Lifting weights