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Travel training, friendship and independence
“Being partially sighted is not a barrier to me being independent!”
James is 18 years old and lives with his Mum, Dad, sister and their pet dog.
He found out about the My Life My Choice (MLMC) Travel Buddy scheme when some of the MLMC Travel Buddy trainers visited his college to give a presentation.
When he got home he showed his parents the leaflet he had been given, and shortly afterwards his Mum contacted us for more information.
At the introduction meeting James told us he wanted to build his confidence using buses and get over his fear of travelling. He explained that he is partially sighted and uses a white stick to guide him, and this made him nervous to go out on his own.
His Mum explained that soon James would be leaving college and she would like him to be more independent for when he finished.
We paired James with a Travel Buddy trainer called Dawn. Although Dawn now travels independently, and has been training others to do the same for a number of years, she understands what it is like to be unable to.
She explains, “I used to use mini buses, taxis and lifts from my carers to get out and about. Learning to travel independently changed my life, which is why I want to help others to learn as well.”
Dawn showed James the journey by bus to his nearest town. James wanted to go there to buy computer magazines as he is a keen gamer, and also to go out for lunch.
Dawn and James have formed a good friendship, and James is now able to do the journey into town on his own. Recently, Dawn has been meeting James in town and they go shopping together and have lunch.
James says, “Dawn has shown me that being partially sighted is not a barrier to me being independent. Thanks Dawn!”
You can read more about travel training in this recent Guardian article: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/apr/03/travel-training-young-people-learning-disability-cuts-council-costs
And find out more about Travel Buddy on our website: https://www.mylifemychoice.org.uk/pages/14-travel-buddy
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