Jackie Pollock
Feb 13, 2017 · 2 min read

Space — we all need it. Those quiet moments in the day where you can be alone with your own thoughts or the personal time for just you and your partner to just be together. However what if you have a learning disability? Statistics already show that young people with a learning disability don’t have much socialisation time. Where does your personal space come from then — especially if you only see your partner at the local social club? Personal time in a crowd — sounds like a nightmare doesn’t it. People watching you — always. Expected to be part of the group — always.We need to change this as leaders- to be respectful and mindful of the couples that we have in our midst and to allow them that space to be, even though we may be always at hand.

Our group recently went to a local restaurant to celebrate Chinese New Year and as we were walking back to catch the train one of our couples dropped back just trying to put a bit of distance between them and everyone else. Bringing up the rear, linking arm in arm walking and supporting each other — just seeking the space to be in the moment together. Logic would have seen me hurry them up, encourage them to rejoin the group — after all we had a train to catch. Instead I found myself dropping further back behind them — still watching, still present but allowing my members to have some space and just be. I think it might be one of the most romantic things I’ve seen all year.

So space — can we provide it? I think so and we have a duty to our members to make sure we do

Carrickfergus Junior Gateway

Posts from Carrickfergus Junior Gateway — a voluntary charity providing social opportunities for young people with learning disabilities

Jackie Pollock

Written by

Advocate for learning disabilities and mental health. Technical Consultant @KainosSoftware, and passionate about my faith, books and coffee

Carrickfergus Junior Gateway

Posts from Carrickfergus Junior Gateway — a voluntary charity providing social opportunities for young people with learning disabilities

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade