Joanne Wacha: Making Friends

Joanne Wacha was born in 1984 in Harrow, London. Joanne attended local mainstream primary and secondary schools and also spent time in hospital, attending the hospital school, after becoming ill at the age of thirteen. After school she went on to a local sixth form college, then a residential special college and then on to university.

Here Joanne talks about her friends at school.

  • Joanne Wacha
  • Joanne Wacha
  • Joanne Wacha


I was just very loud, very loud – loud girl. And people caught onto that, like, ‘Oh she’s actually a bit different,’ there were other disabled people in the school but it was a mainstream school and most people were able bodied. And the class I was in I was the only person in a wheelchair, and I just, I learnt to just open up and smile at people and talk to people. And I’ve never really had a problem making friends and I didn’t then either, so that’s something I was very, very good at doing.

And then this new girl called Noor came and we would go to the cinema together, she was from Sudan and we would go to the cinema together. She didn’t have anyone really that she spoke to and I really liked her a lot. So we would go to the cinema or to the shops, or go on the bus, ‘cause I had no way of transport, mum wouldn’t ever drive me anywhere, she just says 'you just – you can do what – do it on your own', I don’t know what’s wrong with her but she just, she treated me like anyone else, she treated me just like my sisters, and just expected me to get the bus because buses were accessible then, and they had ramps so yeah that was cool.

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