Walking stick



ID: A light brown wooden walking stick with a black rubber tip. This walking stick was owned by Phil Hume. Phil is originally from Luton, but has lived in Merseyside for many years, and currently lives in Bootle. During the Covid-19 pandemic Phil experienced trouble with his feet which impacted his mobility. Due to the lockdown, Phil could not get the help that he needed from the NHS. He was given this walking stick by a neighbour as a temporary measure, but it was too small. He knew that he had to speak up, push for help and not give up. With the help of his support workers at People First Merseyside, he was able to get a walking stick at the correct height, and the medical treatment he required. He chose to donate his walking stick to the Museum to show others the importance of speaking up for yourself and asking for the help that you need. Phil has been a member of People First Merseyside, a self-advocacy group run by and for adults with learning disabilities, since around 2007. In this time, he has acted as co-chair and secretary of the group, amongst other positions. Phil says: “I have learned a great deal through being a member of the group. I think that people with learning disabilities need to be around the right people and have the right support to help others.” Disabled people were disproportionately affected during the pandemic, particularly those who regularly accessed social care and other services that could not operate in full at the time. Over lockdown, People First Merseyside were not able to meet in person. They had a WhatsApp group, which Phil said was ‘a lifeline’, as people became lonely, and staff members and friends called up to check on each other. He says the group brings him “happiness, joy, and a giggle.”