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Friendships across a boundary

Mabel Cooper, Gloria Ferris and Jane Abraham

We want to share our experiences of friendships across boundaries which were defined by our life experiences.

Both Mabel and Gloria spend part of their early life in St Lawrence's Hospital, Caterham. This was one of the large institutions that was "home" for people with learning disabilities in the 20th century. Within the institutions there were boundaries between those with and without learning disabilities (staff and patients) and additional boundaries between those with and without profound disabilities.

They want to share their experiences of friendships across these boundaries.

Mabel will share her memories and reflections on her friendship with Eva G – who was a nurse at St Lawrence's Hospital where Mabel lived for 25 years.

Gloria will share her memories and reflections on her friendship with Muriel M – a woman with profound learning disabilities and cerebral palsy who she met in St Lawrence's and stayed friends with for the rest of her life until her death in 2006.

Mabel and Gloria will also share their reflections on their friendship with each other. This started when they both lived in a hostel (when they moved on from St Lawrence's) and which has remained for the last 30 years.

Contact us

About the Group

If you woud like to get in touch with the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group, please contact:

Liz Tilley 
Chair of the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group
School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
MK7 6AA

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