The Inspirations Consultancy (although ‘un-named’ for some time) has always been a burning ambition of mine - even when sitting in yet another Business Studies lecture thinking ‘what am I doing here?!’
As a young disabled person, I know how good it would have been to have someone to talk to who ‘really understood’. As a disabled adult, I have become aware of how much people worry about doing or saying the ‘wrong thing’ when comes to disabled people.
This can mean that people avoid things they would be really good at or situations they would really enjoy. Similarly, myths surrounding disability mean that many organisations are missing out on a massive pool of invaluable experience, insight, skill and talent.
Each of us has the power to create, support and join a movement which promotes attitudinal change and has a real, positive and long-lasting impact on the lives of disabled people. Together disabled people, professionals and organisations are the best ones to lead this change.
This is my inspiration behind The Inspirations Consultancy.
The purple italic on this page signify my own passions and the opportunities The Inspirations Consultancy is committed to bringing you, your colleagues, volunteers and customers/service-users.
Training and support to Empower, Enlighten and Inspire professionals, disabled people, volunteers and young people
Growing up with the questions…
Growing up I found it really confusing ~
- Why when I gave a shop assistant my bank card did they ask my Mum to sign it?
- Why were my friends welcomed in to nightclubs while I was called ‘a fire hazard’? ~ (As far as I know I don’t yet have the ability to spontaneously combust!)
- And my personal favourite… why do waiters ask ‘what does she want to drink’? ~ (I’m in my 30’s now and this one still happens – but at least I’m too old for nightclubs now!)
I felt from an early age that the attitudes and barriers I experienced from teachers, classmates, doctors, people in the street, shop assistants (I like to shop!), were just not right or justified.
I remember feeling it was me, I didn’t fit in.
That was until I started the Disability Studies MA at the University of Leeds. I learnt about the Social Model of Disability and this helped me begin to change my own thinking and confidence.
Traveling the world!!
Much planning was of course needed ~
- Recruiting a Personal Assistant
- Buying a suitable wheelchair – my Power Trike was brilliant!
- Finding accessible accommodation (no mean feat!)
- And…deciding where to go!!
South Africa was my starting point.
The first thing on my ‘To Do’ List was reaching the top of Table Mountain in my new chair! It stood up to the test, along with sailing in Australia and off-roading in America amongst many other things!
My love of adventure has also led me to crew a Tall Ship in the Caribbean twice. The first time being hosted up the ship’s mast in my wheelchair (this was certainly an experience!) The second time satisfying my determination to climb the mast myself
This is something I’m still proud of today!
I’ve been a regular volunteer for lots of different organisations throughout school and university. After my travels, it was time to get into the world of work.
This brought with it a new set of attitudes and barriers.
After being invited to many interviews but turned down for the job, I found myself volunteering again ~ this time at the local PHAB Club. Being able to ‘prove’ myself and my abilities, I soon became employed as a full time Youth Worker. This was completely by accident and I felt absolutely terrified on my first day!!
This was definitely ‘on the job’ training and where I discovered my real passions for ~
- Raising awareness
- Inspiring others to achieve and develop and…
- Working with young people
I worked with many disabled and non-disabled young people during my time as a Youth Worker ~
- Empowering individuals to make their own choices
- Encouraging the development of confidence and self-esteem
- Supporting personal levels of independence
I was encouraging young people to be confident and determined in their own abilities and I realised again the usefulness of the Social Model!!
I had become a role model for young disabled people.
Some examples that really stand out for me include ~
- Supporting a 17 year old to develop the confidence to tell his carers he didn’t want to be put to bed at 6:30pm
- Working with a group of young disabled people who proudly led and delivered the only disability awareness training day for Youth Workers from across Leeds
I learnt so much from Youth Work.
Young people are very honest and if you don’t deliver a session in the right way ~ they tell you!
This new responsibility meant it was only right that I developed my own self-belief and confidence further as well. This experience allowed me to come up with my personal ‘motto’ ~
Disabled people can do anything we want to, we may just do it in a different way.
I still use this today. One of my proudest moments as a Youth Worker was when a young lady who stayed at school because she hadn’t felt confident enough to move to college said ~ ‘I’m going to do it this year because I know I can now, I’m just going to do it a bit differently’.
A new challenge!
Moving on, Scope was a new challenge for me. An exciting but scary move to London and another ambition of mine. I’d always wanted to work for Scope.
Recruited as Volunteering Officer (volunteer brokerage), my ambition got me again. Seven weeks later I successfully secured a promotion. I become Manager of Scope’s latest Inclusive Volunteering Project.
Here my love of training grew as I had the opportunity to develop, design and deliver training. Training that truly inspired and had a significant impact on the Voluntary Sector.
Managing Scope’s project enabled me to train over 700 professionals on different areas of becoming inclusive. Advising on all elements of Volunteering Good Practice, I supported over 250 organisations to make a ‘real difference’.
Passionate about empowering, enlightening and inspiring others…
I enjoy using my experiences and skills to raise awareness and support people to feel enlightened, empowered and inspired.
I have four aims when delivering training ~
- Firstly, my training is interesting, informative and engaging (i.e. not boring!)
- Secondly, that you get to know me, each other and the subject in a fun, relaxed and safe learning environment
- Thirdly, you feel comfortable to explore ideas and ask questions
- Fourthly… and most importantly, you leave having had a worthwhile day and feeling confident with what you have learnt and inspired to make a difference.
What does making a difference mean to you…
- Feeling more knowledgeable
- Spreading the word on Good Practice
- Influencing change
- Having the confidence to challenge
To me these are the results of really good training and provide me with the inspiration for The Inspirations Consultancy.
Contact us TODAY and make a difference!