What is your disability? Mild Cerebral Palsy
What school did you attend? I attended St Josephs School in Horwich
Have you lived in Bolton all your life?
I lived in Bolton until I was 18 years and then I moved to Preston for 3 years to study at University. I then moved back to Bolton in 2003
What did you do after you left school?
I went on to study A Levels in Psychology , Art, General Studies and English at St John Rigby College. I then went onto Preston University to study a Degree in Social Policy and Economics
How does your disability affect your everyday life?
My disability affects my muscles and the way I walk.
It also affects my learning as I remember things differently and it also has an impact on my spacial awareness.
Can you give us a brief timeline of your career and achievements throughout your life to present day?
When I finished university I moved to Birmingham to work for a children’s charity called Kids West Midlands. I stayed in the post for 2 years and then I moved back to Bolton to work for Bolton Council in the post I am presently in which is a Leisure and Befriending Coordinator. This involves setting up and developing activities for young people with disabilities in Bolton so they can make the most of their spare time.
I am General Manager for AFC Masters football team which I have developed for young people with disabilities and we meet every Monday, Friday and Saturday. We have over 60 players aged 4 years up to 50 years.
I also volunteer for HCPT (Pilgrimage Trust). Every year since 1956, experienced HCPT volunteers have taken 1,000s of disabled and disadvantaged children and adults on life changing pilgrimage holidays to the shrine of Lourdes in France.
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement would be the AFC Masters football shirt is on show at the National Football Museum in Manchester.
Can you tell us about your role in AFC Masters? And what was the motivation behind you setting this organisation up?
I am General Manager and also a football coach for the team. In my role I am responsible for training, kit, young people’s welfare, parents and travel to and from football matches.
My motivation behind this comes from when I was at school I Ioved football but because of my disability I was never picked for the school teams. So I decided to set up a football team (AFC Masters) so everyone can have the opportunity to play football. Young people have the opportunity to get involved and can make new friends and enjoy themselves.
What do you do in your spare time?
I enjoy watching FC United and Manchester who are in the Unibond League.
Can you tell us about your role as a Leisure and befriending coordinator for Bolton Council?
My role as a Leisure and Befriending Coordinator involves me setting up and developing youth activities and groups for young people in Bolton who have disabilities.
I also recruit Volunteers to work with young people within many of the different groups and activities. I also attend meetings and forums that relate to and have an impact on young people with disabilities.
What have you planned for the future?
I am developing the AFC Masters NEET Programme which is aimed at young people not in education, employment or training. The course incorporates Life Skills programmes.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is an umbrella term encompassing a group of non-progressive, non-contagious diseases that cause physical disability in human development. Cerebral refers to the affected area of the brain, the cerebrum (however the centres have not been perfectly localised and the disease most likely involves connections between the cortex and other parts of the brain such as the cerebellum) and palsy refers to disorder of movement.
All types of CP are characterised by abnormal muscle tone, posture (i.e. slouching over while sitting), reflexes, or motor development and coordination. There can be joint and bone deformities and contractures (permanently fixed, tight muscles and joints).
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