Living life to full with disabilities

Janet Okojie and Jane Circuit

Janet Okojie and Jane Circuit

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People in Sheffield with learning disabilities have been taking part in a variety of activities to raise awareness of their conditions – and the services available in the city.

Events, which have included a five-a-side football tournament, mini fun run and creative workshops, and have been organised by Sheffield Health and Social Care and Sheffield Council.

Today, from 11am to 2pm, an ‘information marketplace’ is being run at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in the city centre, giving tips and advice for people with learning disabilities, their families and carers.

The day of dance, music and creative workshops was held for people with learning disabilities at Sheffield Hallam University’s HUBs building, while the football and fun run happened at Hillsborough Park.

About 3,000 people in Sheffield have a learning disability, including 58-year-old Jane Circuit, who has Down’s syndrome.

Jane lived with her parents in Handsworth until they died in 2008.

She then moved into Sheffield Health and Social Care’s residential care home on Beighton Road, Woodhouse.

Peter Circuit, her brother, said: “Jane handled it very well and little did she know that this point would be the start of her ‘new life’.

“She took on new responsibilities that she had never had to do before, like shopping, cleaning and washing.”

Jane said: “I love living at Beighton Road and being independent.

“My friends come here, and I go out all the time.

“I even went on a 14-week training course that means I sit on the panel when Beighton Road is hiring new staff.

“The staff and my family all say I have grown in confidence so much and even how I dress has changed.

“When I first moved in I was a bit of a tomboy, but now I love my jewellery, nail varnish and colourful clothes.”

Janet Okojie, the home’s team leader, said: “Jane is an inspiration and is proof people with learning disabilities will thrive and grasp life to the fullest when given opportunities.”

The home is near Rother Valley and made up of three houses with six bedrooms.

See www.signpostsheffield.org.uk/ldweek for details information.

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