Saba Salman: A better you – and calls for a better society

New year is when we think of new beginnings and fresh challenges, so we reflect both in Community Living as 2023 starts

5 a side football match

New columnist and parent campaigner Ian Goldsworthy writes with brutal honesty about why society should be more understanding of people with profound disabilities.

Writer Mary O’Hara is another new contributor, and offers a blistering take on why the government cannot ignore the rising costs of living for the learning disability community.

Mindful of the traditional focus on fitness and jobs as another year begins, we explore how physical activity can be inclusive and how supported internships can help people stay in work.

Valentine’s Day is on the horizon so, with thoughts turning to love, we feature a project to help staff enable people to develop intimate relationships. And blogger Hayley Goleniowska gives us a warm glimpse into the friendship (and fun) between her daughter Natty and her friend Olly.

We highlight how black British people are under‐represented in learning disability history with actor and campaigner Paul Christian. With a similar focus on invisible groups, Seán Kelly discovers how much Christian Raphael, who has complex needs, is getting out after Covid.

For many people, their ‘home’ is an institution in all but name. What do we really mean when we describe the need for people to live in an ‘ordinary home’?

Out and about

The pandemic undermined community connections, but Lucy Series explores a problem that exists before you even set foot outside your front door. For many, their “home” is an institution in all but name. She asks what we really mean when we describe the need for people to live in an “ordinary home”.

One answer might lie in words from creative arts charity Garvald. Anyone, it states, “will blossom if they feel valued and part of a community where they are recognised for who they are and not diminished by labels”.

Perhaps care providers who limit residents’ lives could consider this as a new year’s resolution.