Includid logo Visit the National Lotteries Board
website to find out about other
projects supported by the NLDTF
  Phone: +27 21 511 3878
Fax: +27 21 510 3331
  Includid logo bottom Inlcusive living for people with intelectual disabilities  
The Life Story of John

John is 61 years old and has been at Includid since 1998. He is one of three children. John lived at home until he was 17, then he moved to Alexandra Hospital. Up until the age of 11 years he attended special classes at school then transferred to Alexandra Institute. He was not able to read or write when he left Alexandra but he attended literacy classes at includid and now enjoys reading as one of his pastimes.

He works in the lavender workgroup. John likes the smell of the lavender. He takes the bags that someone else has sewn, and fills then with lavender which is grown in the gardens of the group homes. He then ties a ribbon round the top of the bag. He also assists the papermaking group by tearing up the larger pieces of paper into smaller sizes and making paper. He is responsible for washing the cups and for taking the attendance register of the lavender group.

John is a member of the representation group, he speaks for Highgate House. He brings any issues to the attention of the group for action. He is also a member of the workgroups representation group. As well as these he is also a member of the self advocates group of the Western Cape Forum on Intellectual Disability. Every Tuesday he attends the literacy and work skills class and then goes to the mobile library every other Thursday. John attends the exercise programme twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays.

John tells his story...
(in his own words)

I have two brothers and one step brother, altogether is three brothers. I used to live with my mother. At the age of 17, my mother put me in special school where I learnt to read and write. It was very nice to live with my mother. My father passed away when I was very young.

One day my mother spoke to me that she is going to put me in psychiatric hospital. I felt extremely upset to move in to psychiatric hospital but I had to get over it. I had to move and stay in Alexandra Hospital. It was not nice to live in a hospital, everyday you have to wear sleeping clothes and if you did something wrong they take you to the punishment room. I was naughty, I was late for lunch and supper. The food was not nice and that was making me to think about my home every day. We often had sago pudding, I like jelly and ice cream, I can't remember what flavour I like, I'm getting old.

A long time ago the sister in charge and social workers at Alexandra Hospital they arranged a special meeting for me. They asked me if I would be happy to move in a Group Homes that is in the ground of the hospital. I said "Yes" I will appreciate moving in the Group Homes.

By the time I moved in the Group Homes, the group home was name as "Friends of Alexandra Hospital" and the name became to change as Includid after few years I stayed there. I first lived at Forest house then Rainbow followed by Sunshine house. Now I am settled at Highgate house. I have lived at Highgate for a long time. 7 people and 1 dog live in Highgate.

I go to the shops with a support worker. We go to Checkers in Maitland, we buy lots of food.

I go to the library, I like to take a book a week. I like children's story books.

My life in a Group Homes is very nice. I can make my own coffee and help to prepare for lunch. I have my own chores at home. I am responsible to clean my own room and do my washing. I first work in papermaking project then I moved to lavender project. I like to work it keeps my life busy and I get pay every Friday. I save my money to buy something nice for my birthday. I took my friend John out to lunch for my birthday, we went for a pizza. I usually go out with my friend on his birthday and my birthday.

My mother is always coming to visit me in the Group Homes and take me to spend weekends with her on her house in Strand. My brother also lives in Strand and he come to pick me up. My other brother comes to visit me once a year. My third brother lives in Australia. My mother is 82 and walks with a stick. (John's mother is 87 and still very involved in John's life).

I am sharing a room at home with my friend John Adams, I have shared with him for a long time. John also works in the Lavender room. John is in a wheelchair but I don't need to push him.

I enjoy living at Includid. I have no dream, I'm just happy.

Jasmine's video life story
John, telling us
his life story
Back to the top