In the olden days I used to watch Blue Peter

In the olden days I used to watch Blue Peter. I was born in 1969 and I came to Enfield in 1993. I used to live in Harperbury Hospital in Radlett. I’ve been coming here to these meetings for nearly 20 years. I live in a residential home for 11 residents. Some of them are not able to look after themselves. One has autism, one uses a Zimmer frame and finds it difficult to live in a flat on her own. We help each other, we support each other and we socialise with each other. I go to St Josephs Pastoral Centre 3 days a week. We also have the health drop in. I go to the Gateway Club we go on outings. They do disco and dancing and we play darts, bingo, skittles – you name it they have it.

I serve mass at St Monica’s Church. I’m an altar server. I’ve been bought up as a Catholic since the time I was a child. We’re all Catholics in my family. I go and attend mass at St Monica’s and help out on bits and pieces with the altar. I go on outings to places like Rome and Lourdes. I’ve been to Lourdes with the church, with St Josephs. The church supports me and they care about me and help me to stay relaxed and calm.

I like my exercises, I like keep fit and I like my Tai Chi at St Josephs. I also play the piano and entertain. I used to play the organ at school. Those things I really enjoy. And since I’ve been living here for 20 years I am happy to stay here. My Mum lives in Hendon. She has been living in Hendon since 1954. I don’t see her all the time. But she picks me up on a Wednesday afternoon and I see her at my sister’s house. My sister lives in Barnet, another sister lives in Athens, Greece and another one lives in Streatham. But now I’m happy to stay where I am here in Enfield. These people here are friendly.

I like to live in the flat because there is peace and quiet. I make arrangements to go out and do things. So I am happy to stay where I am. I eat with another resident, two of us together. I like peace and quiet by myself but I don’t like to live on my own, I like to live with another person. I like to be socialised. We go to bed early, we get up early, we have our own dinner and we take our own medication. We like to do our own things and live our own life.

I dress up smart to come to these meetings and when I go to church on Sunday I like to look smart. When I wear tracksuits I only wear them to keep fit. Sometimes I wear casual clothes but I like to wear smart clothes. I wear best shoes like these, especially to parties.

I like Gary and Stephen, I know them from them club. I see Gary at the art classes and other meetings as well. Stephen reminds me to come to the meetings.

Me, I like to be active. I like to get up early and go out to socialise and by the time I come back I’m rather tired. I also go to the Saturday clubs which are up in Barnet or Finchley. Or I go to the one in Enfield at St Joseph’s Pastoral Centre. The Saturday clubs are very important. I want to keep having my Catholic faith. The most important thing is to believe in God and listen to what people have to say.

I like living in Enfield and I’d like to stay around here. The most important thing is the meetings and the things they do here. My Godfathers son lives around here and they know my family. They live by Crews Hill. So that’s how I knew about Enfield and because I wanted to live in a residential home and I wanted to learn all about what goes on here in Community House in One to One and EDA. I am happy to come here.

Paul, Enfield Disability Action – Self Advocacy Group