Secret Life of Us

What is the simplest task you do in your day-to-day life? Getting on the bus to school or work? Going to the local shops? Visiting the park?

For the majority of families caring for a child or young person with a disability, these run-of-the-mill activities could be the most challenging tasks they face in their daily lives. It can take weeks to plan, need specialist equipment and transportation, and require additional support.

This is made harder because the right support is simply not in place. During the pandemic, this situation was only made worse by even more support services being delayed. Parent carers have repeatedly told us they felt forgotten in the lockdowns.

The Secret Life of Us aims to provide families with disabled children an opportunity to have their experiences heard. Developed in close partnership with parents, the Secret Life of Us brings to life the realities of the challenges disabled children, young people and their families face in living a life many of us take for granted. It reveals the parts of their lives that most people simply do not see.

We want to remove the barriers to people being able to relate to the lives of disabled children, creating greater understanding, affinity and empathy for them and their families. You can sign up to our campaign to help us achieve this.

This is Toby’s Secret Life of Us, find more stories, both from before and during the pandemic, below. 

We want to hear your stories. To tell your own Secret Life of Us, get in touch at: disabledchildrens.partnership@mencap.org.uk 


Smallman family
June 28, 2017

Holly is 14 and a Girl Guide who loves baking and hanging out with her friends. She also has life-limiting illness.

Read her story, as told by mum Hayley.

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