Getting the independence to study

Published Date
Joel Rackham
Care & Support

Getting the right care has given Joshua his independence and allowed him to follow his dream. The family received support from Muscular Dystrophy UK’s advocacy team which helped them successfully appeal the number of care hours Joshua was entitled to.

Joshua, who is 18 and has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, has just started studying his dream course: Sports and Exercise Science at the University of East London. A keen Boccia player, Joshua wanted to study a course that would give him the chance to focus on his sport.

He applied and was accepted on to the course, but Joshua’s local council wouldn’t agree to fund appropriate care for him. His family intervened to try and challenge this decision, with the help of Muscular Dystrophy UK’s advocacy team.

For many months before I began my course my place wasn’t totally secure. I hadn’t been able to secure the hours of care I needed to be able to go to University, because my condition means I am unable to physically care for myself. I need a PA to attend university with me. My mum has been caring for me at home, but I didn’t want her caring for me at university, as I wanted to gain more independence.

Without Muscular Dystrophy UK’s help, I may not have been able to attend University.

Our advocacy team provided a supporting letter to the local council asking for the care Joshua needed in order to go to University. In September, the council agreed to the care and now, with the assistance of a PA, Joshua is attending the University of East London.

Now I can be a normal 18-year-old lad and attend University independently. This is helping me develop my independence from my parents and build my confidence to enable me to achieve this goal.

My course is a three-year course and involves modules on coaching, human performance, development of sport, research skills and psychology. University is great fun and has been full of exciting new challenges so far. Moreover, I have met many new people, some of whom have become good friends.

I want to be able to work within the sport industry, although beyond that I am not too sure. I’d like to go into disability sport, but three years is a long time and that could change, so I am leaving my options open.

Our advocacy team can support those with muscle-wasting conditions to access the support they are entitled to. Please contact us on 0800 652 6352 or through to speak to a member of the team.

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