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Hundreds of thousands of lonely young people

mencap_mainHUNDREDS of thousands of people with learning disabilities are being left isolated and lonely because of attitudes towards them, according to new figures revealed on BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat programme.

Mencap, the learning disability charity, spoke to 338 people aged 18 to 35.

  • Nearly half want to spend more time outside their homes.
  • A similar number said they don’t go out with friends as much as they really want to.
  • About a third spend less than one hour a day outside their homes on a typical Saturday.
  • Nearly 34% were worried about being bullied.
  • And more than a quarter are worried about being laughed at when they leave the house.

Rossanna Trudgian, Mencaps’ head of campaigns, says a lack of job opportunities creates barriers for many.

“Some people with a learning disability won’t even have the chance to leave home. That’s because of high unemployment rates with a learning disability. We know that only 6% of people have a paid job and that means they don’t have the independence that a job can provide.”

Vijay Patel, 27, told Newsbeat he gets lonely because of his learning disability.

“I do get cut off, because people like me, we are not able to get out a lot. If you are stuck at home, there is nothing you can do and you can get bored, I feel disappointed. I want to get out there and do something, I want to get a job and hopefully I will be happy.”

Newsbeat also spoke to 21-year-old Michelle about her life with a learning disability.

“I got put off going out because I had an incident once on the bus. There was a lot of noise from the school kids, one of them actually upset me and made me cry.

“I felt like I didn’t get my opinion across and I have just quit college because I didn’t feel like I could go back.

“Some people don’t know that people with a learning disability suffer that much and can’t go out. People don’t realise that there are people out there with a learning disability.”

www.mencap.org.uk

 

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