We asked Baroness Thomas of Winchester about the values of the British Public. Because we read regularly about hate crime, austerity, selfishness and a general lack of sympathy we wanted to know whether this was the norm .. because what we don’t hear about so much are the thousands and thousands of acts of kindness that happen everyday.
“I am definitely in the latter camp – that most people in this country that I come across are only too willing to help disabled people..
I am in the throes of having my house altered so I can stay in while my mobility declines. It is a wildly unsuitable house for someone with muscular dystrophy. The reason is that there are a huge variety of people around me who are willing to help.
Each day someone has to put my rollator in my car and then take it out. Usually the first is done by my carer, but in the evening I have to get out of the car and see who’s about. I have met lots of people that way, including some who are now good friends. And not just ‘nice’ people – workmen etc.
But I don’t travel by public transport which I think makes a difference. A fellow disabled peer – a wheelchair user – was horribly abused some time ago, but I have never been although I know it happens regularly”.