Covid vaccine: Ben's message for people with learning disabilities

24-year-old Ben from Melton Mowbray is on the autistic spectrum and has lived on his own since his parents died when he was a teenager.

Before Christmas, a retired social worker from Scotland drove 700 miles to support Ben, who was struggling with loneliness in lockdown.

An attack by a gang of bullies had shattered Ben's confidence and, with the onset of lockdown, he felt cut off from the outside world.

Ben and Shelagh now live together in Scotland Credit: ITV News Central

Shelagh Low, who’s a retired social worker and also lived alone, became friends with Ben online and offered him the chance to live with her in Scotland.

She made the 700-mile round trip to collect Ben in December and they now live north of the border.

Ben has now been to get the coronavirus vaccination and filmed the process because he wanted to show others with learning disabilities what it's like.

ITV News Central caught up with Ben after his vaccination:

Feeling lonely? Support is out there:

  • Mind’s website has lots of information on mental health and tips for coping with things like isolation and loneliness and coping with the pandemic:

  • Mind has a confidential Infoline, available on 0300 123 3393 (lines open Monday to Friday from 9am-6pm). Calls are charged at local rates, or email

  • Side by Side is a safe, moderated online peer support community where people aged 18+ with mental health problems can share their story, connect with others and access Mind’s wider information and resources

  • Shout is the UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and need immediate help:

  • Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call 116 123 (free from any phone), email or visit some branches in person. You can also call the Welsh Language Line on 0300 123 3011 (7pm–11pm every day).

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