In today’s new People First Merseyside podcast episode we interview Michael Reid. It might be difficult to understand Michael so we have provided a transcript below:

EMMA: Hello and welcome to People First Merseyside Podcast. Today we have an interview with our Michael Reid to tell us about himself. How are you Michael?

MICHAEL: I’m fine thank you Emma.

EMMA: You’re welcome. Can you tell us about yourself

MICHAEL: My name is Michael. I was born April the 28th 1953. My age is 69. 

EMMA: How long have you been coming to People First Merseyside?

24 years I’ve been coming to people first 

EMMA: What made you, what made you come back to People first for those 24 years til the present, now?

MICHAEL: I just love coming to People First. I am happy to come and meet new friends. Speak up for myself. 

EMMA: And have your rights.

And my rights.

EMMA: And what did, why People First changed your life Michael. What way did it change it? What did they teach you in life, how to do things in life? 

MICHAEL: They teach me, how to speak out to the funders, how to start looking around for a new office. It took a while. 

EMMA: And look at us now, still going strong and never stop. 

MICHAEL: We’re still going strong and we will keep on going.

EMMA: Yes! For the next 34 years, next 40 years, 34 years, Michael. Fight for our rights, and we will fight ‘til our last dying breath, Michael. 


EMMA: What have you done in People First over these years?

MICHAEL: What have I been doing for 24 years, when I first started? I went to Manchester, a conference, talking about health problems. Then we went to Northampton, then we went to Blackpool. The AGM. Carlisle. 

EMMA: These are conferences People First went to over the 34 years we’ve been open. So Michael’s explaining you which conferences round the UK we’ve been going to. Can you tell us about your hobbies?

MICHAEL: My hobbies. I like playing pool, football, cricket, 10 pin bowling, and drama. 

EMMA: What made you go into drama, and what do you like about the David Brown place where you used to go to?

MICHAEL: The reason why I enjoy drama ‘cause I want to be an actor because some of my friends went into drama and I am going because I miss them. My friends. So I went, asked them and they said “Yeah, you’re welcome.”

EMMA: Give something a try that you’ve never done before.

MICHAEL: Yeah so I tried, yeah, they love the way I move, think of questions, and I’ve got a loud voice. Our first one, the good old days, so me and my wife, my partner, sat in the armchairs and sat down and I said to me wife: ‘What’s on the telly?’ And she told me, Coronation Street. And she said: ‘I don’t wanna watch that, I wanna watch Eastenders.’ So I said ‘I don’t have the controller. That puts on my soap programme . And she took it off me “oh well!”. Then the telly just blew up. Look what you’ve gone and done now! Let’s get on with the show. Enjoy yourself everyone. Let’s get on with the show.

EMMA: Right. Have you got any award, have you won any award from People First, or drama, or any place you went to. 

MICHAEL:Well, my first trophy that I ever won is in Dunham Bridge Community Centre, a pool competition. I won my first trophy. And my third trophy, athletics. I came third in the high jump.

EMMA: Did you get any certificates in People First?

Yeah I got loads.

EMMA: Yeah me as well. Is there anything else can you tell us, or anything else you want to say? 

MICHAEL: Yes, I wanna say something about my disabilities. One time I came home from school, got the bus, just sat there, then some people looking across. ‘What are you all looking at?’ And someone punched me, and I was frightened, my nose was bleeding. And I couldn’t hear anything. I just went deaf! I didn’t know what to do. So when I got home, I told my parents, so they phoned the doctor, doctor came round and checked them. 

EMMA: Thank you for that Michael. 

MICHAEL: You’re welcome. 

EMMA: I didn’t know you went deaf after your nosebleed and they can’t figure out what happened to it. They didn’t figure out what caused your deafness and your nosebleed and your dizzy spells. 

MICHAEL: Every year I go to hospital and I have an operation but they didn’t know what caused me to go deaf. 

EMMA: How come you’re passionate in sign language, ‘cause you sign a lot while you were talking to members, why you sign a lot to members? 

MICHAEL:When I started being deaf, they sent me to a different school with deaf and dumb people.

EMMA: Deaf and hard of hearing school, people.

MICHAEL: Some people can hear. 

EMMA: And some people are deaf. 

MICHAEL: And dumb. 

EMMA: So that’s why you picked up the sign over the years, because of that school. 

MICHAEL: That’s where I learned to sign. 

EMMA: You are an inspiration on that, because we didn’t know where you had got your signs from and we didn’t know why you are deaf and that will be members and people who will listen to this and thought: ‘We didn’t know Michael had this experience, and we didn’t know that Michael learned to sign from hard of hearing, deaf school. You were mixing with different people and you are an inspiration for People First and behalf of people with learning disabilities and the Deaf community and we should be proud of you, because we didn’t know your story at People First and we didn’t know you had your health conditions and we didn’t know you learned how to sign to people from the school you went and you should be proud of yourself Michael. 


EMMA: Thank you for that, and it was good information to tell people. 

MICHAEL: You’re welcome, thank you. EMMA: You’re welcome. Thank you for listening to this episode of People First Merseyside.


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