'Oh my days. Are you Stanley? I haven't seen you in years'
Stan and I were walking back home from the barber shop. A woman was berating a group of school pupils for playing football on the street. But as we arrived it all changed; one of them recognised Stan from primary school days. And we all had a lovely chat.
Stan had just been for a haircut, where everyone knows him. We'd been on the bus, where no one knew him but by the end of the ride, two men in their early twenties were his best friends.
And it struck me that Stan is well known in the community. I'm often approached in the supermarket by someone who was Stan's supporter for, say, a week, a few years ago. He can leave an impression with so many people.
But it's his former primary school friend that I'm thinking about today. At that school everyone was encouraged to learn Makaton signing and everyone just knew Stanley. Other young people might not know how to react when they meet someone with a learning disability. That lad did. Because Stan had been a normal part of his primary education.
And I like to think that Stan teaches lots of people in our community lots of things about tolerance, understanding and the joy of life, every single day.
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