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Adele Darby
I have something to get up for everyday


Adele Darby aged 33, from New Buildings, like generations of adults with learning disabilities before her, found herself very isolated after the education system had discharged its responsibilities towards her.

From the rich learning environment at Belmont where she had many friends, she was thrust abruptly into a world of work experience, which she found lonely and scary.

“When I was growing up I got on well with my family. We were a happy family. I had plenty of friends and we played lots of games. I didn’t know I had a learning disability until I was a bit older, and I have always accepted my disability.

“I went to primary school where everybody tried to help me learn. My teachers were nice to me but I didn't have a lot of friends just my brother who looked out for me. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents who were good to me because my mum was working every day. I liked school but I was finding it hard to keep up with the rest of the class.

“When it was time to leave primary school Mum and Dad took me to see the next school I was going to. I was very scared it was so big. Mum went and saw Mr McCully and told him I would like to go to Belmont House School. That was a good idea. I loved it and was so happy there. It was a great school. I liked Mr Dobbins and Mrs Kennedy they were good to me.”

At Belmont, Adele had many good friends, including Róisín O’Hara and Allison Cooley. They looked out for one another, and cared for each other when they were in hospital.

“When I left Belmont I was lost. I didn't know what was going to happen to me. I went out on work experience, some of the work I was doing had very long hours I was tired when I went home. I liked lunchtime. 

“One time when I was going to work in the nursery, the manhole was slippery and I fell and broke my leg I couldn't walk. Since then I have had a bad leg. It was very scary. I also got knocked down by a bike that shook me up a bit. I would like a job where I am helping people.”

Adele took a Craft and Crochet class with a friend of her mother, which she enjoyed despite the fact everyone there was a generation older. “I spent a lot of time on my own; I had nowhere else to go. Then my mum asked a girl she knew in Belmont, Denise the secretary, where I could go and she said about Destined.

“Mum took me to see the boss Dermot. I had not been very well before mum took me, I think I was lonely. I joined Destined in the summer of 2010 and my life has changed so much. I have something to get up for every day.  I enjoy my life now, I have friends my own age and mum is happy too.

“At the weekends I often go to the caravan where I go to the beach and stuff and I enjoy it. I don't like going out at night - it scares me - I prefer to go out during the day.

“I have met Jim O'Reilly through Destined and he is my boyfriend. We have been going out for about a year. He is a very kind person. I am happy with my life now everything is hunky-dory.