My Name is Ben McCay, I am Co-Chair of the trustees at My Life My Choice.
In response to government Coronavirus advice the Jobs and money team which I am part of decide all current My Life My Choice activities/projects/services will be suspended for the time being. Which made feel depressed as did not know when I was going to see anyone again. We decide that My Life My Choice will offer a telephone, social media, and mail out service to all 600+ members in order to provide Coronavirus information and support.
My Life My Choice have constantly sent myself and the members updates in easy read otherwise I with the rest of the members, would not understanding what was happening with coronavirus along with activities to do at home. So I would not feel so lonely at the begin of the lockdown I start to ring up my life my choice members to see how they were coping with the lockdown which I enjoy doing it was nice to be able to speak to someone as it would be the only person I spoke to some days. One of my friends is a DJ and he setup a group on face-book so that could play music to his friends I enjoyed listening to the music and chatting to everybody. Other things I have been doing to keep myself busy are playing games on my Wii and watching DVDS and TV.
In May my auntie died of coronavirus and my best friend was ill with coronavirus for six weeks before he recovered and it left me upset, depressed and frightened so I decided I would buy my own facemasks which I did online and delivered to my house which I now wear when I go and do my food shopping once a week. My sister has been very kind and caring since lockdown started, she rings me once a week, has sent me food shopping and DVDs by online delivery and she helps me and my niece playing online games together.
At beginning of May, the Jobs and Money team wanted to start meeting again, we now meet online once a week. In the Middle of May and beginning of June I was in the local Newspaper I wanted to help shine the spotlight on deaths of people with learning disabilities due to coronavirus and I was keen to put out a call for prioritisation for vaccines and I had to mention all this on the local Radio station in June as well.
In July I had my first visit to the town centre since lockdown started. I needed a haircut so my destination was the local barbers I use. Which reopened the first weekend in July. I do not feel safe another yet to use public transport. I decided I would take a slow walk into the town centre and avoid all the busy main roads so I would meet less people and so I could socially distance with safety. When I got to the barbers, I put on my face mask and washed my hands with the hand gel provided I then sat in the barber’s chair and had a disposable gown put around me then barber cut my hair. When the barber had finished, I got up out of the chair and went to the till where I paid for my haircut. I was then asked to write down my name and contact phone number so the barbers to contact me if someone had coronavirus when I was in the barbers that day and I would need to self-isolate for fourteens days. I then left the barbers washing my hands with own hand gel after I left and took slow walk back home the away, I came.
This week I was interview by BBC South Today at my house. I said how lonely I was feeling. The only contact I have with people is online or people ringing me up on my mobile phone. The members keep on asking me when are we are going back to the office but the Government advice is still work from home if you can. I mention how conflicting the government information is for people with learning disabilities. How everything has been left up to self-advocacy groups to help people with learning disabilities understanding what is happening during the crisis and stop them feeling so lonely.
I will not feel one hundred percent safe to do all the thing I did before coronavirus, until I have had the Vaccine.