My name is Anne and this is my story.
I am a Trustee with McFarlane Trust (since 2018) and I am also a Trustee for another charity for people with learning disabilities. My brother Ian is a service user with McFarlane Trust and has been for 23 years.
Our story begins with my brother Ian, born in the 1950s when a lot of people with learning disabilities were kept in institutions, isolated from society. In 1956 my mum came across a newspaper advert – a small number of parents were getting together to campaign for the rights of people with learning disabilities, mum joined and this became ‘The Scottish Society for the Mentally Handicapped’ (now Enable). Mum was actively involved in fundraising and supporting change and that is where my interest began.
However the greatest worry for mum and dad was always ‘What would happen to Ian if we could no longer look after him?’ and in turn as Ian grew older he wanted something different; a degree of independence from mum and dad. It took five years to find somewhere suitable to meet Ian’s needs and it was only when respite care became available with McFarlane Trust that Ian found the right place… he didn’t want to go home!! So began the process of securing a placement at McFarlane Trust’s Netherlee House, moving 3 years ago to McFarlane Trust’s Endrick Drive with his 3 housemates.
Ian loves living in his home. The staff are so caring, thoughtful, proactive and respectful. They know Ian inside out and as Ian has developed dementia, the staff successfully adapt to meet all Ian’s changing needs. As a family all our anxiety and concerns are lifted.
I am delighted to be a Trustee and as with all the team, our service users are at the centre and focus of all we do.
This is Anne with her brother, Ian Cooper and her Mum.
The staff had arranged a Mother’s Day surprise for Mrs Cooper!