Kirsty Soutar has cerebral palsy and for the last couple of years has lived in her own flat with personal assistant part time (day) input, and her canine partner assistance dog.
Kirsty has difficulties with organisation and direction-finding, as well as the physical restrictions to accessing socialising caused by CP.
Kirsty attended mainstream school and college (child care and child playwork) and socialised with her school and college crowd with a lot of support for access from her friends and parents. As the school group dispersed and the opportunities provided within education stopped Kirsty was dependent on family and other adults rather than peer group for accessing events and social activities. This was worsened by the isolation of covid.
Kirsty does some hours of data input for H1 healthcare but this job also moved to being from home causing further decrease in social interactions.
Fortunately Kirsty became aware of Gig Buddies (her Mum heard it mentioned on a radio programme) and since becoming part of this group her access to social events (and hearing that they are happening) has been restored.
Previously Kirsty has danced and travelled with Scottish Y Dance and has her gold D of E badge as part of a pioneering group run by D of E ‘paddlers on tour’.
Kirsty is a UK para athlete (seated club and discus throw), and trains at the Emirates, loves camping (highlands/islands), assisted kayaking, baking and cooking and seeing friends especially at events. She volunteers in play leading at the Children’s Hospital and likes to be very active and on the go hence why until Gig Buddies came into her life, things had been frustrating and isolating for her which had taken its toll on how she was doing.
Kirsty is now again enjoying peer group company and activities and loving life.