Meet Leanne, who is the Treasurer of the Pro-Active Community. She tells us a bit more about herself and what lockdown has been like for her.
Leanne, tell us a bit about yourself?
I live in a flat in Reigate. I love butterflies – I have lots of clothes and things in my flat that have butterflies on them.
I cycle most Sundays with the Special Olympics South East team, there are 11 of us, 3 girls and 8 boys. We all have autism or learning disabilities and we take part in the Special Olympics. I have won 1 silver & 4 Bronze medals since 2016. I usually go to Majorca in April with my team on a regional cycling training holiday, but this year because of the virus it was cancelled, and it has been postponed until April 2021. The Special Olympics National Cycling event in Manchester at the end of June has also been cancelled and we are not cycling with the team on Sundays because of the Coronavirus. I am lucky as, since lockdown, I have been going on bike rides with my Mum & Dad, so hopefully, I will not get too unfit.
Tell us a bit more about your disability and how Active Prospects supports you?
I have a learning disability and find lots of experiences cause me to be very anxious and I find it difficult to cope without lots of support. I have support in my flat and staff help me organise myself and support me with anything that is making me anxious. Active Prospects also supports me and encourages me to volunteer at head office. I help with Surrey County Council and interviewing new staff. Head office staff also help me a lot when I need to speak to someone because I get upset very easily.
How did you find lockdown at first? Were you scared or felt ok?
I was very scared and felt very anxious as the only thing I could do was go food shopping. It was too scary as nothing was on the shelves and people were arguing in the shops over food. I was scared that I would not get my support or be able to see my family. My Mum knew I was scared and feeling anxious as I was ringing her up all the time, so I decided to go and stay with my Mum and Dad while we were in lockdown.
During the lockdown, what have you been doing to keep yourself busy and how has this made you feel?
During the lockdown, I have been staying with my Mum and Dad. I have really enjoyed it as I am not lonely or scared. I have been cycling with my Mum and Dad, and walking my dog Bella most days with my Mum. I have been exercising on Just Dance on the Wii and playing games on the PlayStation. I have helped in the garden painting the shed and potting up some plants. I have also been enjoying the sunshine and have even played board games and listened to audiobooks while sitting in the garden. I have had lots of cuddles from my dog Bella while I am watching films. I have also helped with the cooking and I have cooked my Mum and Dad’s stir fry, homemade turkey burgers, and rice crispy cakes. I have also been in charge of finding online shopping slots with either Asda or Tesco’s as my Mum shops for my Grandparents too.
What has been the most difficult thing about lockdown for you and what has been the best thing?
The best thing is being with my Mum and Dad, and our dog again. I love having cuddles with Bella every morning.
The worse thing is not seeing Michael, who is my boyfriend, and other people. I also miss coming to head office for the Pro-Active Community and talking to staff at head office.
What is the first thing you want to do once the lockdown is over and it is safe to start to slowly return to normal life?
Go back to my flat and go to head office and talk to people. I still talk to Michael on the phone most days, but I am looking forward to seeing him and going out to places with Michael again. Going cycling with my team every Sunday and going out for meals. I cannot wait to go and see my brothers again and see all my nephews and nieces.