In the style of Jess from the Fast show – “today I will mostly be talking about, the past”!
My grandpa, absolute legend with technology, dug out these 3 newspaper cuttings at my request from many moons ago to enable me to write this blog (http://www.flickr.com/photos/martyn_sibley/sets/72157622856332857/). He is a legend as not many people of his age, let alone full-stop, could scan, save, upload and email this so perfectly. Thanks Gramps 🙂
I’ll start with the picture of me in my new wheelchair pushing the football up the alley-way beside our old bungalow. This came off the back of everyone in my village and further afield hearing that I needed a new wheelchair costing £3,000 of which my parents didn’t happen to have lying around. I think this shows the fact that someone like myself requires more support than someone not disabled. Had I have not had so many good friends and family I may never have got that chair and the confidence to get out and do it! It also shows how appreciative we were as a family to say thanks. I can remember being embarrassed at going in the newspaper and highlighting my disability. It was a necessary means. The same occurred when I needed funds towards my first adapted car which we achieved with many fundraising events.
I hope in this newer age that the government see the longer term returns from investments in such capital equipment for disabled people. I have no doubt this, along with other support from the state and friends, enabled me to be so included and able to complete my education, leading to employment. I urge policies to recognise this and for innovative solutions to arise in filling this void, not everyone has the networks seen in this article but with a small investment large untapped potential can be found. Its a win win.
The second 2 articles, despite slightly blowing my own trumpet, show why I think people were happy to go to lengths to support me. These articles show when I swam for the British Heart Foundation (www.bhf.org.uk) – not so easy as I only swam with my arms. I raised good sponsorship money, had the then Prime Ministers wife Norma Major help me out the pool on regional TV and I won the cup for best achievement in the years fundraising. This was not a publicity stunt to raise the money mentioned previously but my wanting to do something for someone else and show just because I take sometimes, I can give to. I remember it took bloody ages to do the swim but was a big personal achievement. I hope in a different way some of my blogs will make a difference, large or small, to other people.
Overall this trait is less about social investment but personal goals. I cannot decide government policies but I can live my life in a way I think is right. By passing on knowledge and experience I take satisfaction while I hope it does encourage others to do what is in their heart. All too often disability can be a negative viewpoint on the cannots. This is counterproductive and how ever many barriers someone faces, complaining will not help. So as mentioned before, go for your goals but also give back to others as well. It feels good and karma may throw you a curve ball too.
As the Dalia Lama said “It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.” (www.dalailama.com).