Ivan looks back
Hello I am Ivan.
I have lived in Leatherhead for over 50 years and live in my own flat, which is great as I can do what I want. I thought you might be interested to read a little about me and my interests while living at SeeAbility.
I have a problem with my eyes which means that I can’t see things close up very well, but I am able to see things in the distance.
I came to live at one of SeeAbility's service in Leatherhead in 1958, Life here was very different. We used to live in small Nissan huts. We used to do a lot of handy crafts and packing in the workshops during the day, packing wheel weights for local companies.
Life was regimented with set times for meals and bed times, the ladies going to bed at 9.30pm and men at 10.30pm. We had to get permission for many things in our life, which I found very hard as a young man.
In 1962 I moved into the East wing of the main building. Then SeeAbility built new shared flats in the early 1980’s, and I moved there. I remember very well the day the flats where officially opened by the Princess of Wales and how we were able to meet her. She was a lovely lady.
I now live in a flat in Spencer Court and have lived here since 1995. Living here means I get support from SeeAbility staff The advantage is I can tell the staff what I would like to do rather than them telling me. I can do as I please in my own flat, which has given me a lot of independence and enjoyment.
I also attend SeeAbility's Millennium Centre to do activities, mainly the social club where we hold quizzes and bingo evenings with fish and chip dinners. This gives me the opportunity to meet up with other tenants doing something we enjoy.
I am a very keen cyclist and attend the Tandem club run by SeeAbility's volunteers. We go out on local rides, to tea rooms or local places of interest. Even though this is nice, for me I enjoy the challenge of longer rides.
I have been lucky over the years to have enjoyed many cycle challenges, with my most recent being a coast to coast ride across the Peak District. This gave me the challenge of cycling the hills in that area, and to study the clouds that I saw on route, another great passion of mine.
You can tell that in the last 50 years there have been very dramatic changes to how SeeAbility operates and the type of support that I receive. It is great being able to have my own independence and to be encouraged to do the things that I enjoy.
I would not want to live anywhere else other than Spencer Court.
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