Better Together approached 3 young women who we knew held valued roles in the community and asked them if we could tell them about a fantastic young woman of 22 who has a disability that we know and how they might be able to make a difference in her life. Two of these women where at university – one studying journalism, one nursing – the other woman employed in a community development organisation.
We talked to them about a woman who I recently went to a festival with and how we stayed for the last concert of the night – a very popular band.
The day had been so great; this young woman was having a great time. But something changed for her at the concert. Amongst thousands of young vibrant people, she started to quietly cry. This young woman explained later that she started looking around her at all these people her age. All of them with others their own age, they were laughing, hugging, having fun, enjoying each other, and some where obviously in love. “I don’t have anyone”, she explained with tears still in her eyes. Then I realized, amongst all those people, here was this lovely young woman, and the only person with her is a 40 year old paid worker.
We talked to these women about coming together to form a circle of friendship of young women around this young woman, Toni. All three women said they would be happy to do so. One of those woman also asked one of her friends, a law student, who then went on to ask another close friend of hers, an administration officer , who also became part of this circle of friendship.
Together these women formed a caring bond of friendship around Toni. They included Toni in their lives, developing their friendships with her and doing regular things together, and they all would have a fabulous time.
More important, is that they knew relationships where hard for Toni, and that sometimes she struggled with things that made her push them away. They all new to stay in touch with her and push past rejection when it happens – she was their friend and worth every effort!