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Learning Disability Week 2019: Mark Morrison

A sports enthusiast who is discovering newfound confidence, independence and friends, has shared his story for Learning Disability Week.

Mark Morrison discusses his new found confidence after moving into Sanctuary Supported Living's Nickleby Road scheme.

Earlier this year, Mark Morrison, who has a learning disability, moved in to Sanctuary Supported Living’s Nickleby Road in Chelmsford – a service which supports adults with a range of disabilities to live as independently as possible.

Having previously lived with his mother and stepfather, 27-year-old Mark wanted to get out of his comfort zone, learn new skills, meet new people, socialise and get into a routine.

To achieve his goals, Mark began attending Sports for Confidence multi-sport sessions twice a week at nearby Riverside Leisure Centre. Here, Mark enjoys trying out various games including dodgeball, football and basketball – all coordinated by an occupational therapist and a coach in a pleasant environment.

Mark, who says his biggest sporting inspiration is West Ham football player Declan Rice, shares his love of the sport with a few of the other residents and sometimes watches matches with them in a pub. He also attends the gym in between his multi-sport sessions to maintain his fitness.

Aside from sports, Mark gets on well with his two housemates and now cooks and shops independently. With hopes to complete a pottery course and a maths course in the near future, things are now really getting on track for Mark.

Michelle Gilbey-Mills, deputy local service manager at Nickleby Road, said: “Mark’s confidence has grown and he seems a lot happier living here. He is busy and driven, which has helped him on his pathway to independence.”

Mark added: “Everything is going well.”

Learning Disability Week is an annual campaign by Mencap to raise awareness of issues around learning disabilities. This year it runs from Monday 17 to Sunday 23 June and the theme is sport and inclusion.

For more information about our disability services, see our disability page or read more Resident stories.

Mark’s confidence has grown and he seems a lot happier living here

Deputy Local Service Manager, Michelle Gilbey-Mills

Download a printable PDF version of this story (PDF 86KB).

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