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  4. Having friends - they help you when you're stuck

Having friends - they help you when you're stuck

Liz Tilley (Bristol University) and the Money, Friends and Making Ends Meet group

Money, Friends and Making Ends Meet group logo

Who are the Money, Friends and Making Ends Meet group?

We are a group of people with a learning disability who do not receive any formal services and are part of an inclusive research project in Sandwell, West Midlands.  We have all known each other for years and support each other when we get stuck with things.

What we are trying to find out

Liz, a PhD student at Norah Fry Research Centre, University of Bristol, is enabling us to research our lives. We are telling our stories about who our friends are and how they and others support us, with a special focus about how we manage our money and try to make ends meet. We are also thinking about our identity; what we think having a learning disability means, if people in the agencies we come into contact with recognise that we sometimes need support, and whether we consider the people in our close circle of friends and support to also have a learning disability.

The research is about us having a voice and people understanding what life is like for us. Liz explains this as exploring how our social networks and social capital affects our money management and we experience poverty.

How are we doing our research?

We are finding out more about these things by:

  • talking about our friends and networks in a discussion group
  • being supported to research our own lives and tell our own story, especially about friends and networks and money management.

Now we are looking at all this information and thinking more about it.  We are thinking whether there are any shared problems or patterns. The meetings and interviews took place from the summer 2010 to spring 2011. We are also going to be part of the ‘thinking what it all means’ phase later this year, and the production of an easy read report.

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

About the website

If you have any feedback or would like to report a problem with the website, please contact WELS-Research-Admin@open.ac.uk.