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UK’s first columnists with learning disabilities thank departing journalist

Dorset columnistsThe first UK newspaper columnists with learning disabilities have thanked the a departing regional daily journalist who set up the project.

Dorset Echo writers Adam Kelly and William Parmiter have dedicated their weekly column to Catherine Bolado, who helped them set up the ‘Our View’ initiative.

As reported on HTFP last November, the Echo gave Adam and William the column in a reported UK first, in association with learning disabilities charity People First Dorset.

Senior reporter Catherine has left the newspaper after six years to go travelling.

In their column, Adam and William wrote: “This week we wanted to dedicate our article to someone, without whom, this column would never have happened.

“That person is Catherine, who works at the Dorset Echo. She helped give us this opportunity to have a weekly column in the newspaper. We became aware a few days ago that Catherine will be leaving her job at the Dorset Echo this week, so she can go travelling for a few months. It’s something she’s always wanted to do and suddenly the opportunity came up and she realised, if she didn’t do it now, she probably never would.

“We want to take this opportunity to thank Catherine for all her support and guidance in helping us, and Laura (who edits the columns) to create these columns.

They continued: “For those of you who don’t know, as far as we are aware, we are the only journalists with a learning disability in the UK writing regularly in a newspaper. In our world, this column is not only brilliant for us, but it is ground-breaking in the world of people with learning disabilities. Without Catherine, and the support of the Echo team, this would never have happened. We are incredibly grateful to all of you.

“On a personal level, we would like to thank Catherine for being such a big part of our journey in the last year. We realise that we may be the first people with learning disabilities some readers come into contact with. To make sure that’s a positive experience is a big responsibility for us, and we love having the opportunity to do that.

“So Catherine, enjoy your holiday and whatever you decide to do in the future, we hope it’s full of love and enjoyment. Please keep in touch and know that you have been a very important person in our lives.”