I was almost hopeless and had run out of money trying to start up the Tom Cridland brand two years ago, aged 23, when I sent an offer of a complimentary pair of our trousers to Nigel Olsson, who has been Elton's drummer since 1969 and was one of my favourite musicians, via his rep. Much to my surprise, I had an email from Nigel himself the next day, saying he loved the look of my designs.
Figures this week showed that the number of prosecutions for hate crimes against disabled people has risen by more than 40% over the last year. I have a learning disability, and I live in supported housing run by Mencap. When staff there told me about the rise in hate crime, I was shocked but not surprised.
In short the potential impact of all of these factors doesn't just change our status as a nation, but threatens to disrupt important aspects of our everyday lives. The element of anxiety that lies in the unknown will only be exacerbated by the press in the months to come, and whether or not our anxieties will come to pass, it doesn't make the feeling any less valid. So please, stop telling us to 'Get over it!'.
One of my best friends lives nearly 200 miles away from me. That really sucks sometimes... But what I've realised in the four years of becoming long-distance best friends (LDBFs) is that there are several tell-tale signs you know it's going to be a friendship that lasts, no matter what the distance is.
A few years ago, I heard a term that made a lot of sense to me. Actually, that's not entirely true, at first it made me roll my eyes at yet another -ism entering the vernacular. I wondered whether the world really needed another label to navigate round, until one day, to my shame, I realised that the label, quite literally, defined me.
Social media suddenly became awash with women celebrating other women whether it be their friends or other females they admired. Of course women should be bigging up other women (I am a big believer in this), but for all the lovely ladies out there feeling lonely who AREN'T included in these lists, these features can only serve to make them feel a little bit sad and their day a little bit sh*t.
Deprived of the time, due to family and work commitments as well as logistics, to be of practical help to Chris and Jane, Charlotte's mum and dad, we struggled to think of what we could do to support them and their wider families. In the end we decided to do what came naturally; be creative, bossy and try to organise people.