Hi, my name is julian65! Moved to an area where we don't know anyone — Scope | Disability forum
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Hi, my name is julian65! Moved to an area where we don't know anyone

julian65 Community member Posts: 5 Listener
my partner and I moved into a disability adapted bungalow in the Harehills area of Leeds a few months ago. While we're very grateful to finally have the security of a housing association house after many years of stress with private landlords, it's meant that we've moved to an area where we know absolutely nobody - this in terms of both social interaction and, almost as importantly, knowing people such a trades people from car mechanics to electricians who are reputable and honest.
This is compounded by the fact that my partner, while a very sociable person, is severely disabled and housebound, while my M.E./CFS means I become very quickly exhausted and anxious in social situations.
Also my partner's pain condition means she has very limited capacity to type, and she has PTSD triggers that relate to any discussion of her medical history or condition - because frankly it's been a nightmare for her for 25 years. All this adds up to her only being able to meet people in person after they've been thoroughly informed as to what not to talk to her about, normally by me, which is obviously difficult to manage.
Anyway, I thought I'd write this and see what comes of it!


  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Campaigns Posts: 12,462 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @julian65 :) Thank you for joining us, and for being so open and honest in your first post here.

    It can be really tough when you move somewhere where you don't know anyone, and aren't sure where to start.

    Have you been in touch with Leeds City Council to ask them about whether there are any community groups in your area that you could attend? This can be a good way of meeting people, and building up a local network.

    I'd imagine there are local charities who run groups, too. It's worth keeping an eye out for noticeboards in public places like parks, libraries, and leisure centres, to see what's on.

    Many events and groups are also advertised on social media now. If you use Facebook, you could try joining some local community groups on there.

    Meetup can also be a good way of finding suitable groups and events in your area. 

    Do you mind me asking roughly how old you and your partner are? There's no pressure to share if you don't want to :)

    It's great news that you've managed to secure an accessible bungalow. How are you finding it? 
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  • julian65
    julian65 Community member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi Tori,
    Thanks for your reply and suggestions.

    I'm 57 and my partner is 48. This means she seems to be falling between the cracks of those organisations that offer support and befriending for both younger and older people.

    Where we lived previously, my partner had a couple of people (apart from her carers) visit her each week, just for an hour or so. She's very into her crafts, fabrics, sewing, cross-stitch and so on, and enjoyed exchanging ideas and inspirations with these people.

    That said, having come to consider them friends, she was pretty devastated when they abruptly cut off contact with her just because we now live outside their organisation's 'catchment' area. This kind of behaviour would make anyone doubt the sincerity of the supposed friendship, but when you're already socially isolated, housebound and managing severe chronic pain . . .

    My partner simply cannot attend even very local meetings, being housebound. Nor can she communicate with others online without burning through her pain meds in rapid order, so realistically it's up to me to try to connect her up with people with similar interests who might be able to visit her at home.

    The bungalow is in many ways wonderful, in that it is not cold, damp and drafty and actually has reasonable insulation. The corridors and doorways are wide to allow wheelchair access and it's a very significant and very welcome improvement on what we've lived in previously.

    That said, as someone who is very familiar with building construction, it's also more than a bit maddening for me to see the extent to which builders have obviously cut corners and bodged various jobs, even though they will have known perfectly well the house was intended for occupation by a disabled person. In fact I suspect that's why they cut corners, assuming they'd get away with it.

    It's a shame because we're tenants of a housing association supposedly specialising in disability adapted properties, and they're going to end up paying for a lot of things twice over: the initial construction (2019) and now repairing and making good on all the things they missed at what's called the 'snagging' stage when the building is inspected before being signed off on.



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