My name is Lee I am 28 years old I have cerebral palsy and learning difficulties.

I have done a work placement at National Express Leeds bus station. I got this from Leeds Technology college. They kept me on the placement for a year because I was doing well. I also did a food course there and a work skills course learning about money and home life skills. I enjoyed that I then met a friend  called Rob who I like to meet up with at Leeds Tech college and I also attend the Bridge at Holbeck day centre where I do Arts and Crafts, I really enjoy this.

In May 2017 it was a dark and sad day in my life, I lost my grandad, he suddenly died it changed my whole life. We spent many great times together, he used to take me all over. I met the people he used to work with. He loved music John Denver and Roy Orbison, Cher and many other groups. He loved Liverpool FC and Leeds Rhinos, I once met Harry Kewell. He took me to a few rugby grounds, as he was a big rugby league fan. He took me to Hunslet and the Rhinos. We met Mike Stephenson who was an ex rugby league commentator on the super league. I had my photo with him.

My grandad’s funeral was at Cottlingley it was a big funeral many of his friends and family came to celebrate his life. I did a speech saying how much I missed him I miss him every day, but I know he is watching over me to see how I am.

In March 2020 we had the covid lockdown my whole routine changed, the things I used to do like going to the chip shop, the pub, the Bridge in Holbeck 2 days a week, all stopped. I used to go to Morley Leisure Centre, Football World too. I needed help with my dealing with my bereavement and instead of talking to family, I went to talk with different organisations like the CRUSE bereavement service. I spoke with a lady called Isobel she was very helpful and gave me some good coping methods. Then I spoke to Vic at York Place, she said use your diary for your thoughts. I then went to Nicola at the Rosalie Ryie at Wakefield she was helpful. At one point I really needed a lot of support.  I even phoned the Samaritans for help with my grief they were helpful, I just needed someone to talk to and listen to my problems

I called Geoff from Linking Leeds he was good he gave me a few ideas breathing techniques and said we will try Live Well Leeds see what they have to offer, so we did. Live Well Leeds rang me her name was Bev she phoned and said I am going be your Mental Health Support Coordinator. I was very happy with her she was great and always there to listen to my problems or advise me. The work she is doing with me is fantastic and my mental health has made a big improvement.

I do not take medication instead I do things to distract me like colouring, playing football designing logos and artwork. I like watching sport I am a big Leeds united fan and Rhinos fan too and like to play on my Xbox. It takes my mind off things and with the Bridge at Holbeck opening this week it will be great to see my friends and staff again. The way I cope is by having a routine, getting dressed and having breakfast and doing my colouring in and talking to family is very important. It makes the day fly by colouring in and it is so relaxing. It will be great to have my routine back, after covid. Having a routine keeps me happy and focused and eventually the things I enjoy like football World and art will come back too.

Whenever people are down or upset and read my story it will show just how far I have come and what can be achieved anything is possible just have a read of my story.

A big thank you to Bev at Livewell Leeds been great working with her and I am looking forward to meeting her one day soon.

Hope my story aspires you