From time to time we share stories of local people, in our newsletter and on our website. We'd love to see more if you would like to share your story here.
Here's an interview with Lintie Shirley, a local user of the Access Project centre in Whitton:
'Lintie Shirley is a disabled resident in Richmond Upon Thames. After living in Queen Mary’s Hospital from the age of five, and a boarding school from the age of eight, Lintie fought for her right to live independently, stating that she is a very intelligent and able person who is capable of living in her own place. Lintie has severe Cerebral Palsy and her method of communicating with people is different from most. She uses a board with letters, numbers and various words on and spells out words and sentences with her elbow.
“I am not dumb. I suffer from Cerebral Palsy. This means my body moves a lot. I am an adult and want to be treated like one.’” Lintie has been living in her own place now for 22 years.
She is a painter and an avid writer of poetry, which she has found to be a great way to communicate her thoughts, feelings and experiences to those around her and as a release for herself. She also loves to visit parks, especially in the summer, taking walks and going for a drink and some dinner in the local pub. Linty adores animals, especially cats and has owned several over the years.
She feels that although she may not have had the ideal start to life, it will not stop her from trying new things, exploring new places and getting what she is entitled to, even when people try to dissuade or dismiss her. Lintie loves to travel, visiting Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Greece and Africa, to name a few. To raise the money to travel, Lintie created and sold her own postcards, with paintings and poetry on them. She has also been mountain climbing, horse back riding and camping.
“I have a great sense of humour. I try to enjoy life and take things as they come. I often say ‘That’s life’ and I feel you make from it whatever you want. It was hard for me, but it made me stronger. I had to fight hard for everything and now I’m in my own flat. “