I am Shaine, a local actor, writer, poet and empowering activist with a learning disability.
I work for Bournemouth People First, a speaking up charity run by and for people with learning disabilities and have done since 2004. I deliver Learning Disability Awareness Training to students at Bournemouth University and Bournemouth Hospital. The feedback from this training is awesome! It always feels like we have done ourselves and other people with a learning disability proud and I think that the nurses/doctors are going to do us proud with what they have learnt.
I am part of Bournemouth People First’s Management Committee; we check services, take part in consultations, have guest speakers and are very busy bees. I also represent people with a learning disability at the Bournemouth and Poole Learning Disability Partnership Board, which aims to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities. It has lots of people from the council, carers and NHS staff. We have a great rapport and have our say about how services work and what could be done better.
We have done lots of work on the Big Plan (how Bournemouth and Poole will work together to provide health and social care service for adults with learning disabilities) and the future of services. We speak up and make choices and make a difference. It has empowered me and given me confidence to speak up more and have my voice heard as I didn’t use to.
I am also part of Double Act, a theatre company of people with learning disabilities.
I have appeared in plenty of plays since 2004. Last year I was in Grease as a teacher, Mr Bumble, who was a fun guy but was also lonely. He inspired me to write a poem about loneliness. I have written three successful poetry books which are full of humour, science-fiction, and are about being different and about people with learning difficulties.
I am currently writing my fourth book, which is an autobiography. It is a story about a bee that falls in love and helps people find their companion, done in the style of rhyme, and will be out in 2018. My books are available to buy online, or you might be able to order them from your local bookshop.
I also attend open mic nights around Bournemouth where I read my poems. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed writing them and performing them.
David Vitty, Service Director for Adult Social Care:
“We invited resident Shaine Singer (you may recognise him from Channel 4’s The Undateables) to write a blog about his work with the Learning Disability Partnership Board (LDPB), which is set up to ensure that services provided by us and the NHS are meeting the needs of people with a learning disability.
Shaine’s blog is a fantastic insight into how having a learning disability has not prevented him from leading a rich and creative lifestyle. It also shows the contribution people with a learning disability make to our community, and to the way we plan and deliver adult social care.”