Guest post from Aaron, 15, who has cerebral palsy and lives in Waltham Forest, London. Our stories team spoke to him and his mum Sonia, a befriender with our Face 2 Face service, over the summer, and we’ve worked together on this article.
My dream is to go into fitness. I’m dedicated to fitness; I want to get a ripped body! And I want to share my passion with other people so they can get fit themselves. I’d like to be a fitness instructor.
I go to a special school at the moment. I’m doing functional skills, but I would like to do English, maths, science until I get my GCSEs, so I’m thinking of staying until I’m 19 and then going to college.
I work in a volunteer group called Bigga Fish, and we’re planning a big festival in the Olympic Park at the moment. I can’t really tell you a lot until we launch it.
I’m also on the Legacy Youth Panel, and what we do there is talk about what to do on the Olympic Park site.
They’re putting a slide on the Orbit sculpture at Olympic Park – that was to do with us.
We suggested it, because when we went up to the Orbit, there was nothing there. It was just boring, and it wouldn’t attract local people or tourists.
Getting young people’s voices heard
I do community work because I’m interested in getting young people’s voices heard.
One thing I would like to do is meet with Stella Creasy, my local MP, and talk to her about services for disabled people in Waltham Forest.
Everywhere I turn, there are services closing because they don’t have enough funding from the council. I used to go to several of them after school and at the weekends, but now they have been closed down.
I think young people’s voices are not heard enough, because I think they would be asking why all these things are being closed.
What I’d say to my MP
I want to say to Stella: ‘Why are there no services? Why couldn’t you cut back on road surfacing or speed humps, or stuff we don’t need?’ I think the priorities are not right.
If these services keep closing, there won’t be enough to go round. Even now people are having to go out of their local borough. Disabled people will just be isolated.
It’s the worst thing that could happen. Disabled families will now feel isolated; they’ll be thinking ‘Where do I go? I have no one to talk to.’ It is a sad thought.
A better future would be loads more services in Waltham Forest, so disabled children and families have somewhere to go for support.
In one way I want to be a politician, but at the moment I would rather be on the outside tackling the problems rather than be on the inside.
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