Jackie Bonnar

My name is Jackie and I have been involved with ENABLE Scotland for some time now, and a member of ACE for over 10 years! 

My first campaign with ENABLE was when I became campaign ambassador for the Stop the Bus campaign in 2016 which looked at helping more people with learning disabilities, like myself, get a free bus pass because before the campaign I didn’t qualify for one.  

This was a really important campaign for me as I struggled using the bus before my free bus pass because I found making sure I always had the right change difficult.  

But through this campaign people like me got a free bus pass, which helped with my independence as I could travel now with so much more ease!  

This is just one of the ways I have been involved with ENABLE and how they have also helped me.  

Jackie Photo For Microsite
A little bit more about me!

I am 55 years old and have a learning disability.  

School for me was quite difficult and I didn’t enjoy it too much. I was in a mainstream primary and secondary before I eventually moved into a school for additional support needs.  

I didn’t really like school as I found it difficult, so I left at 16 to go to college. I done lots of different courses at college, such as life skills until I eventually left. 

I have had a few jobs throughout my life, and in some of these jobs I had quite a difficult time.  

At my first job, my manager didn’t like me very much and would always be quite mean to me! He would say I was always late when I wasn’t, and often picked on me.  

I was always on time for work, but still I got picked on.  

I then had another job where a college made me very uncomfortable, when my mum and I went to complain about his behaviour I was laughed at and treated as if I was the person doing something wrong. Because of this I left this job.  

I love to be independent and do things on my own, but I haven’t always been able to. Before all the support I got from ENABLE I was very unhappy. If it wasn’t for ENABLE, I would still be unhappy and stuck.  

My mum and me were struggling to get an assessment from social work to get formal support in place but ENABLE advocated for me and my family and we eventually got a budget. It is this budget that allowed me to be more independent and go on holidays.  

I was in my 50’s when I went on my first ever holiday alone without my mum! 

Before this, my mum and me had to do everything together as I had no support. Me and my mum get on really well, but it was hard having to be together all the time.  

It was only really in the past few years that I got the support I needed to be independent.  

Because I was able to go off on my own and do things, it also meant my mum got the time she needed as well to go away and do things for herself. This was really important, and helped our relationship a lot as I didn’t need to rely on my mum quite so much.  

I am very social and love to make new friends and be around people so before I had the support from ENABLE, I was very lonely, I felt stuck and bored as I never had anything to do. I often found myself talking to myself in my room! 

When my mum reached out to ENABLE for support, I began having things to do! 

I have been taking part in ENABLE’s Kilt walk, so far I have done 4 of them!  

I have worked with ENABLE in partnership with Jo’s trust, from our first meeting with them to working alongside the NHS and developing video guides to help other women with learning disabilities get their smear test!  

The Bill 

I think the bill is a good idea. I think it would be good to have someone to speak out on people with learning disabilities behalf when things aren’t going right!  

I think if my rights were protected in law years ago, the problems I faced in employment might not have happened! Or I would have known who to go to for help. Having our rights protected in law is very important.  

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