Breaking barriers every day

As part of our Break the Barrier campaign, we caught up with Adam, a Sense volunteer and past Sense Awards winner. Adam not only faces his own barriers, but helps disabled people break their own barriers every day.

I’ve faced barriers all my life because of my disability. I can’t read or write things, but when you try to explain that to people, they don’t want to listen. When I was getting ready to leave school, the teachers said I wouldn’t do anything with my life so I thought, ‘I’m going to, and I’m going to show them’.  

And that’s exactly what I’ve done.  

I’ve been a volunteer with Sense for over 20 years. 24 years with the adult service in Smethwick and 12 years with the children’s service.

People always ask me why I’m a volunteer: it’s because I enjoy it. When you walk into the building and you see smiles on people’s faces, it’s so exciting. I don’t need anything else.  

We break barriers by taking small steps everyday 

We do art sessions at the services. Sometimes, people will come in and only draw one line on the paper in a day. But it’s not about the one line, it’s what they do with it.

The next time they come, they’ll do another line so it’s two lines, then three lines and then when you hold the paper up, it’s a whole picture.  

You can’t force people to do things, you’ve got to keep on taking little steps. 

We all have a duty to help people overcome barriers, however difficult. And you can start today, by pledging support for Sense’s campaign