Disabled woman speaks of rising anxiety as lockdown lifts
Emma Blackmore says she doesn't want to hide away - she used to love being out and about with her wife Natalie.
Emma was born with congenital rubella syndrome. It means she has problems with her sight and hearing, has epilepsy and suffers from anxiety. She says during lockdown she felt lonely and isolated.
Emma Blackmore says: "When everyone was zooming, it was hard for me because it was with the epilepsy, hearing and eyesight, it is sensory overload and can bring on seizures.
Emma says as restrictions lift it is as though her brain is arguing with itself. She really wants to go out, but then she asks if she is ready for this?
But Emma who lives in Mangotsfield in Bristol, says since lockdown has begun to ease - going out has made her anxiety far worse. She recently went on a trip to Bath but had to leave after ten minutes because of the crows.
But Emma is not alone. The charity Sense which helps people living with complex disabilities says half the people they've spoken to are also suffering anxiety.
Chief Executive Richard Kramer says: "I think it's about showing a bit of patience and understanding. Some people may not be able to wear a mask, or we could all make greater space in the streets if we see someone struggling.
Emma says she is determined to "live life to the full" again when she feels ready. She hopes by speaking out her needs and the needs of others, will not be forgotten.