“I was paralysed after a road traffic accident several decades ago. To this day I’m still quite philosophical about it. I’d never felt the need to commemorate the date of my accident. A few years ago my friends and family threw me a surprise celebration where we celebrated some of my milestones and accomplishments over the years.
It also brought back fond memories of my days as a Paralympian, being the first tetraplegic woman to swim a mile, and working on various community projects in my local community, Dunstable.
The strange thing was, I suddenly realised that all of my achievements happened after the accident. This was a very empowering realisation, and it’s spurred me on to further champion the need for good quality, accessible homes for people living with a disability.
I’ve lived in an accessible home since 1985 and know how it’s enabled me to give back to the community through involvement in a number of charitable projects. In my experience, accessible housing is a key factor to disabled people’s participation in the community. Over the years it’s given me a voice and enabled me to become a teacher, author, tenant representative, local volunteer and campaigner for accessible housing.
It’s a fact that disabled people need their own homes. With the right help and support, it gives them the strength and determination to give to the community and live lives that are fulfilling”.