Trisha's son, Christopher (Chris), was born in 1990 after a normal pregnancy.  He was a complete joy to everyone and the family adored him.  However, at around three months, the family noticed he wasn't reaching developmental milestones and everyone started to worry.  Although Trisha has a very supportive family, it took time to come to terms with Christopher's complex needs.

"Chris left Kingsley School when he was 19 and went on to West Herts College for two years.  He loved it there and enjoyed a wide-ranging course designed to support young adults with learning disabilities.

"My first contact with Harrow Mencap was with the Transition Support Team.  They provided great support when Chris was moving from school to college.  During my time on the PTA at Kingsley, I worked with one of Harrow Mencap's team to organise a series of talks for parents focusing on transition.  We all learnt so much from these sessions.  I was also supported with visits to various local day service facilities.  It was then I realised how difficult it was to find a placement that would suit Chris's needs and where I felt he would be really happy.

"Thankfully, Harrow Mencap came to the rescue! They were just starting up a Day Activity Service at Pinner Green.  Chris already had a taste of Harrow Mencap's Summer Activity Scheme, which he really enjoyed - he went sailing and even got to drive a car at one of the pre-learner driver lessons - that was heaven to Chris!

"Chris settled in really well at the Pinner Green Day Service.  He has really grown in confidence, feeling comfortable around the other members and staff.  He's improved his communication skills and become fitter through all the exercise he does.  He has also outgrown his fear of dogs!

"The monthly Happi-Feet discos, held at Pinner Green, have proved a big hit with Chris - you just can't keep him off the dance floor!.  And Harrow Mencap's supported breaks to Devon have been wonderful - the staff make it such an enjoyable holiday experience for Chris and it also gives me a timely break from my caring role.

"In 2015, I became more involved with Pinner Green - it all started at a parents' coffee morning when one of the parents, Many, said "why don't we start up a parent support group"?  I helped to set up Pals @ Pinner Green  with the support of Harrow Mencap and another parent.  It gives parents the chance to come together to socialise, share experiences and make new friendships, knowing they are with other parents who are in a similar caring role to their own".