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Social group for special needs, could I do better?

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WiltshireGirl Sun 19-Feb-17 17:09:42

Please excuse me if this sounds a bit garbled, but I have edited this several times before posting. I hope this is the right forum smile

I'm in a group called Lifestyles based in Salisbury in Wiltshire. When I first joined it was brilliant. Lifestyles is a social group for people with mental health issues, disabled and and people with learning difficulties.

I have Aspbergers so Lifestyles was ideal at the time because the woman who used to be in charge was easy to talk to. She has since left because the two new members of staff we took on caused a lot of upset, and many people began dropping out. Ten years later I'm still with lifestyles because without them I couldn't go to some of the places we have visited.

Lifestyles gave me the confidence to travel and get 'out there'. We have in the past been to some fantastic places like the Isle of Wight, Cadburys World in Birmingham etc. There is only a handful of people left now in Lifestyles, it's a bit like ‘same old same old’ (if you get what I mean)
At the time of it's creation, Lifestyles was a very good idea, but the two member of staff (can't mention names) have run it into the ground over the years and it's just become, stale. We used to have disco's on Valentines day and at Christmas, we haven't had one for years but I don't miss it anyway.

The problem is that the two members of staff (one male, one female) are just not suited to deal with anyone with mental health let alone special needs. Many people I know might disagree with me, let me explain one thing.

I am with another group called Serve On (rescue and resilience team) who treat me as part of the gang which is great as it boosts my confidence. I'm encouraged to take photos of the training exercises etc. Only thing is my confidence is very low so when we go to the pub, I don't say a lot as I'm worried I'll embarrass myself.

In Lifestyles the 2 members off staff seem to only focus on what's 'wrong' with me and are both sarcastic and patronising, therefore their view is ‘I have special needs, I must be thick as a plank’. They also seem to get irritated as if they don’t want to be there, my dad says their only in it for the money and nothing else.

I also can’t talk to the female member of staff like the predecessor, as suddenly I realise she’s not listening to me, or I’m being ignored.

I’ve thought long and hard about jacking it in and going elsewhere, but then I think again and they do go to some great places.

Should I jack it in and go somewhere where I can actually get some respect?

Thanks for reading.

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