James lives in the Langdon community. His mother, Nicola explains the journey he has been on:
“James is absolutely typical of someone with an ‘invisible disability’. When you first meet James, it’s not until you’ve been with him for a while that you realise that he has a disability. He has what are called mild to moderate learning disabilities. He is dyslexic and has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
“It makes him very vulnerable. He wants people to like him and, because of that, people can take advantage of him. At one point, he could have got himself into a lot of trouble.
“Before James lived in the Langdon community, he was in a flat in a housing association run by Hertfordshire County Council. He lived there for about three years and it was the worst thing for him.
“He was taken advantage of because he wanted to be friendly and he wanted to be liked: he thought that if somebody asked him for money and he gave it to them, they were going to be his friend. On one occasion, £500 pounds came out of his account on one day. He was also mixing with some really unpleasant people, and got himself into some trouble – not of his own making, but because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. We just didn’t know what to do. If he had stayed where he was, I hate to think where he could have ended up.
“Then I found out that Langdon had opened new accommodation in Edgware. We applied for James to go there and he was accepted – it was the best thing that ever happened for him and it was the best thing that ever happened for us, as a family.
“Langdon has given James an enormous amount of confidence. He has a social circle of friends where he is not going to be taken advantage of – they all look out for each other. He also started doing the Langdon cycle rides, which has really boosted his confidence. He’s a changed person.”