“It was a good atmosphere on the day, and I enjoyed the camaraderie of the people involved”

Marion, a 53-year-old, person we support, walked the 5k Race for Life along Swansea’s beautiful Mumbles Seafront in May. Following an acquired brain injury, she sustained jogging whilst on holiday in Dubai in 2009, Marion now lives at our supported living home in Swansea. Our supported living homes enable adults with a disability to have their own home whilst providing them with as much or as little support they need. Marion who as a result of the injury, has short term memory loss and needs verbal prompts is doing fantastic in one of our supported living homes which allows the people we support to live as independently as possible.

I had the opportunity to meet and speak to Marion at our Involvement Conference last week. our flagship event dedicated to giving the people we support the space to have their voices heard about the amazing race she completed in memory of her mother and the work she did preparing for the race. This was Marion’s first Involvement Conference which she “enjoyed”, saying “I found the managing my money workshop interesting”

A former top-rated head chef, who has created an array of dishes for The Queen, Prince Charles and Prince Edward, Marion is extremely accomplished. She has completed the Race for Life, 2 years in a row, where this year, the weather was beautiful on race day. As she spoke to me, it was clear of her pride at her brilliant achievement, describing the race as a “hard slog” however she was “elated, happy and proud” of herself on the day. It’s a fantastic achievement for Marion who diligently prepared for the race by strolling for a mile around the lake.

The Race for Life was a part of her person-centred plan and Marion was supported in registering online for the 5k race. Additionally, her support workers also helped her prepare for the race by offering her advice and going for walks with her. As I sat and talked with Marion, we got onto the topic of food and some of her hobbies. “I don’t like kidney, liver and celery”, she tells me. I did not disagree with her but added my own dislike for coriander and parsley. Marion was quick to let me know that both those herbs were very good for seasoning, as a former head chef, I thought it best not to argue with her!

Marion has a great relationship with her support workers and they with her. “Marion is wonderful and is active, she enjoys swimming and walking”, one of her support workers tell me. It is clear that they support her to live her life to the full, the way she wants to live and to do the things she wants to do.

Marion concludes our delightful chat by saying that next year, she wants to complete the 10k Race for Life.

We look forward to celebrating your next achievement, Marion! However, I don’t think I’ll be putting coriander or parsley in my meals anytime soon.