About Down's Syndrome : Alan

Written by Alan’s niece

Alan was born in Croydon on 16 June 1965 to parents Neville and Phoebe King. Alan joined siblings, Janet, Geoffrey and Barry.

Alan was a very energetic adventurous child, always running off and exploring. One day Alan couldn’t be found anywhere, and whilst everyone was searching high and low in a panic, Alan was taking a nap in one of the neighbours’ beds. He had just walked into their house and got into one of the beds!

As Alan got older, he became a little more serious and would enjoy his own company watching videos/DVDs and writing. He would refer to himself as an old man now. He’ll be 55 in 2020.

In 2004, Neville sadly passed away so Phoebe and Alan moved to Newhaven in East Sussex to live on the coast and be closer to Janet, Geoffrey and Barry.

Alan had always dreamed of having his own home, and this got harder for him as he saw his nieces and nephews fly the nest. But with little support/knowledge of available services, this just wasn’t feasible.

In 2013, Alan’s mum Phoebe was unfortunately diagnosed with dementia, so the decision was made to move Alan into new assistant living accommodation being constructed in Seaford in East Sussex.

This was a big change for both Alan and Phoebe, who had been doing everything for Alan. So to make the transition smoother for them both, Alan would spend every weekend staying with a lady called Linda who taught him cooking, cleaning, shopping and other life skills that Alan had not previously required. Alan moved into his new flat in 2014 where he still lives today.

To encourage Alan to become healthier, his nephew Matt visits him every Wednesday. Matt will cook healthy meals with him and introduce him to different sports. Alan started to show a keen interest in football so in the summer of 2019, we signed him up to the Down’s Syndrome Association’s football sessions set up by DSActive and run by Albion in the Community.

Since Alan has been involved with sports, specifically Albion in the City, he has grown more and more confident. He has lost weight and is looking so healthy. He loves going to the sessions and has made some great friends.

It is lovely to see Alan going from a man that enjoyed his own company and loved watching DVDs, to seeing him play football, enjoying boxing, and being on first name terms with almost every resident in Seaford. Alan is so happy, and it’s thanks to the support of not only loved ones, but local and national services.

Alan recently participated in the first ever South Regional Football Festival put on by DSActive, and he did not stop smiling, despite having a sore leg and a cold!

Alan will always enjoy having ‘me’ time and watching his DVDs, but he also enjoys seeing family, walking, playing football, boxing, playing pool, staying in hotels, getting his hair cut and going out for dinner!

Alan is the most happy, loving fun, and thoughtful man you will ever meet, and we are blessed to have him in our lives. He has faced a lot of challenges, but he can now live an independent free life thanks to the services and support available to him. We will be forever grateful to all the positive influences around him.

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