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Pat Christie

Pat Christie - ENABLE Volunteer​​

Having moved to Scotland in the late 1960’s, Pat Christie and her family were pleased to discover there was a much larger support network for parents with children who had learning disabilities compared services down south.

And it didn’t take long for Pat to get involved with her local ENABLE Branch in Glasgow.

“I went along to a meeting when we came to Glasgow and sort of got roped in,” explained Pat.

“Roped in” is probably a bit of an understatement.  Pat helped the branch to fundraise and rolled up her sleeves to become involved in many different activities, including organised trips and social nights. It wasn’t long before she became vice chair of the Branch.

Pat and her daughter, Fiona, who has a learning disability have often been subjected to cruel comments.

Remembers Pat: “Fiona had a thing when she came off the bus where she was always yelled at. A group of women at the neighbouring bowling green would shout at me, telling me to tell my child to shut up. That was not uncommon in those days but you learn to have a very thick skin over the years.”

Pat and Fiona have appreciated the support network ENABLE has provided especially at a local level and are grateful to volunteers for their hard work. 

“Volunteers are so good at supporting not only the person who has learning disabilities but their whole family too. They support them in ways you might not think, and through difficult times.”

Pat has made many friends through the organisation and she values the social aspect of ENABLE especially during times when other people were less than understanding. 

As well as being vice chair of the Branch, Pat became involved with Scottish Council, the group of members who help run ENABLE Scotland and then in 2001 became the chairperson of ENABLE Scotland. When ENABLE Scotland celebrated its 50th anniversary, Pat was presented with a decorative crystal bowl to recognise all the work she had done for people who have learning disabilities.

Having stepped down as chair of ENABLE Scotland in 2004, Pat now leads a less hectic life.
She maintains a keen interest in ENABLE Scotland affairs and is grateful for what the organisation does for her and her family. 

“I hope I have contributed enough to ENABLE to repay what I received from it.  I can’t claim to have influenced the organisation much but I think by just being willing to take on whatever was needed to be done has helped.”

Find out more about volunteering with ENABLE Scotland​ here.​

ENABLE Scotland,INSPIRE House,3 Renshaw Place,Eurocentral,N Lanarkshire,ML1 4UF.Tel: 01698 737 000. Registered Charity Number SC009024

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