We see the person: Meet Gail

18th November 2016

Gail is 44, loves singing, dancing, and acting, takes belly dancing classes, and has a wicked sense of humour. She also happens to have a learning disability, and doesn’t let that stop her.

She’s a very busy lady. Gail comes to FitzRoy day services in Hampshire and also volunteers in our head office amongst a lot of other things. We took the chance to catch up with her over a cuppa in the office to talk about what she gets up to.

When Gail is volunteering at FitzRoy she makes everyone smile. She said, “Well I would rather have a cheerful disposition than not!” Gail also volunteers at a local mobility scooter shop. “When I see people struggling I always ask would you like some help. I volunteer because I like helping people.”

Gail lives with her Mum and Dad, “I give them the run around as well” she says, grinning. She and her parents are committee members for the Petersfield Society for Special Needs. Gail helps plan events like discos for the society that she and her friends attend.

Although she won’t admit it, Gail is brilliant on stage. As a member of On Track’s drama group, once a year she is part of a show for friends and family, and is always a star. “I’m used to stepping out on stage now. Sometimes I feel nervous and think “I can’t do this!” But then I remember that my family are in the audience and it’s ok. Even after all this time, I get butterflies running up to the show, but it’s always worth it!”

Recently, Gail has taken up belly dancing. “Mum and Dad suggested it, I think they wanted to get me out of their hair for a while! At first I was a bit dubious but I love it! I have a nice set of friends there of all different types of ages. I wear a floaty skirt and have a couple of belly dancing belts too. It’s really good exercise and I think it’s toning up the body. It’s hard work, but I laugh a lot. Everyone laughs and has a good time together.”

Not only does Gail have lots of friends, she also has a boyfriend. “We’ve been together for years! He makes me happy. There have been occasions when I’ve been shivering with cold and he takes off his jacket for me to wear. Those little things make me happy. We make an effort to see each other and talk on the phone a lot. Life would be dull without my boyfriend.”

At FitzRoy, we believe in seeing the person. We asked Gail what she thought “we see the person” means, and she said “to me, it means not making a rash judgement about anyone.”