“My name is Brendan and I have cerebral palsy and a mild learning disability.
I’ve been living on my own for 6 years now in supported living and I’ve noticed a big difference in the past couple of years. There are not enough support workers at the moment. Sometimes there’s only one support worker on shift where I live. And they don’t get paid enough money for the work they do. The support workers don’t stay long because they leave for better-paid jobs.
I will get to know my support workers really well and develop a friendship with them. They learn how to communicate with me and support me. They learn how to spot when I’m upset. But then they’ll say they’re leaving as they’ve got another job. It’s upsetting when this happens. I get used to seeing them coming every day and they become a big part of my life. When they leave, I miss them. And then I need to show the new person how to support me all over again.
How are people with a learning disability meant to live independent lives when support workers are leaving for better-paid jobs? It’s time that support workers got the fair pay they deserve.”