Who am I?
I’m a positive determined person, doing all I can to improve lives be that mine, my family’s or the wider community.
Of all my facets disability is the least important. It’s a cliche but I am not my disability and disability is not a personality trait. It is simply something that affects how I do things. So what you won’t see here is detail about my conditions.
I grew up in East Lancashire, the second child of active teacher parents. My childhood was spent hiking, cycling, sailing. My dad ran an outdoor pursuits centre in the Yorshire Dakes and so I spent my school holidays with 30 older brothers exploring the fells. When we weren’t there we were sailing, canal boating or caravaning.
I eventually went off to uni to study computer science, this is when my health really had an impact. I was a long way from identifying myself as disabled but by graduation I was walking with two sticks.
I married soon after uni, graduating in a recession I kind of fell into teaching.
After having children is when my career really got to be fun and fit with my personality. First I worked with school age parents, before becoming a charity manager supporting families.
My love for the outdoors endured and we spent much of the children’s early years exploring Cumbria on foot and bike. Indeed the last ‘leg thing’ I did was mountain biking.
This is when disability become more of a factor and I become a powerchair user and could no longer work.Now single with two primary aged children I moved to Cumbria to give them a childhood filled with freedom and adventure. This is honestly the best decision of my life. These were tough years but exciting ones too. This is when I became enthusiastic about dog training, a hobby that endures.
The years passed, as a family we adventured, supported others and got by.
I moved to Carlisle when my conditions meant I could no longer drive and so living in town became essential