Jack and Bill’s story

Gay prideJack is a gay man with a learning disability who needed advocacy support to express his views and access appropriate support around his sexuality. Speak Out introduced Jack to a newly trained volunteer citizen advocate, Bill. Speak Out staff facilitated a number of initial meetings supporting Jack and Bill to talk about and agreed an advocacy plan. Jack and Bill continued to meet regularly and over time got to know one another.

Bill used the ‘Build a Picture’ tool to support Jack to talk about his life and the advocacy issues for him at the time. Jack talked about being gay and that he didn’t know other gay men.  Bill is also a gay man and they decided to attend Gay Pride together that year. Over time Jack has got to know some of Bills friends and now feels that he is part of the gay community in Brighton.

At the start of the advocacy partnership Jack was living at home with an elderly aunt who had some health issues. Bill helped Jack prepare for his review meeting where he talked about his anxiety for the future. Over the next year Jack’s social work began to talk with Jack about possible housing options for the future as his aunt was becoming less able to care for him. Bill supported Jack to visit a couple of group homes and eventually Jack found somewhere he liked and moved there. Things settled down for Jack who has been happy in his home since the move.

Jack and Bill continued to meet up regularly and Bill attended Jack’s care review meetings with him. A few years later Jacks Aunt died and Bill supported him to access some bereavement counselling.

There have been other advocacy issues over the years relating to Jacks part time job which Bill has supported him with. However Jack has getting more confident and able to speak up for himself.