Why I am a Quaker - Louise Weeks

I was born in Plymouth, Devon. I have cerebral palsy. My birth family could not look after me, so I was in a children's home for a while, and then I was fostered by two ladies called Judith and Pat. Both of them were Quakers, and we attended Tavistock Meeting. They took me and my foster sister Katie to the Children's Meeting there. At that meeting I first met Ray Hainton, Julia Bush's mother. I liked everything about Tavistock Meeting. Everyone was very friendly and they talked to me. I can't remember any particular stories or activities that we did at Children's Meeting because it is a long time ago, but I enjoyed going there.

When Judith, Katie, and I moved to Sibford we went to Sibford Meeting, and we also met the Friends from Banbury Meeting at Monthly Meeting (now Area Meeting). Len and Betty Gray were members of Banbury Meeting at that time, so I was glad to meet them again when I moved to live at Hampton House (a Scope Home) in Northampton. Later Ray Hainton also came to Northampton from Exeter Meeting when she moved to be nearer to Julia.

Soon after I moved to Hampton House and started attending Northampton Meeting I decided to become a Quaker by applying for membership. I was visited by John Enderby (from Sibford meeting) and Eleanor Barden (from Northampton).

One of the people who helped me make the decision was Sue Freestone, who was then the head of Sibford Friends School. The first time I met Sue she arrived on a horse called Devlin, and stuck her head through the window! I wanted to become a Quaker because of all the good people I have met who are Quakers, and because I believe in Peace and in fairness and equality for everyone including disabled people.

I come to Meeting for Worship every Sunday when I can, and I am grateful to all the Friends who collect me in their cars and make sure I get there safely.

Louise Weeks