An unexpected statement perhaps, considering the way disability is often portrayed in the media, particularly when someone ends up in a wheelchair. It is seen as the end of a life, a digression into a life of misery and pain. For me, it was anything but. Let me tell you why.
What I have seen in the last few days in Lesotho gives me huge confidence that we will rise to this challenge. Seeing young people who have so little, yet who work so hard to support their friends and educate their families about HIV, continues to inspire all of us at Sentebale. They are why I care so much about this fight. I hope that their stories of courage, and not just the huge problems they face, can inspire all of you as well. What I believe is that we cannot beat HIV without giving young people in every country the voice they deserve. Without education and without empowerment, HIV will win.
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.
Despite their young age, children like Emir* have already experienced more than many of us adults can imagine. Years of war and conflict, followed by an often life-threatening journey to reach the Europe they thought would provide safety, has left many of them disappointed, frustrated, and dealing with emotional stress... No stone should be left unturned to ensure children are reunited with their families or guardians as soon as possible. Children travelling on their own are especially vulnerable and must be moved to long-term shelters where they can access education, basic services, legal advice and emotional support to help them deal with the horrors they have faced.
Most people in Eritrea think that if a girl is cut, she will grow up to be a good girl; that she will not bring shame on her family and she will marry well. If a girl is not cut, they think she will grow up to be a 'slut'; a girl who thinks about sex and will not be satisfied by one man.
You wouldn't tell someone they cant get up the stairs as you have no lift but direct them to another store that does have one! But this is what our high street household names are effectively doing by expecting someone else to provide a facility they could easily provide for customers that are asking for better facilities. It's time to stop passing the buck and take responsibility.
It's an incredible feeling being part of such a force for positive change and seeing the results. I'd encourage anyone who is lucky enough to get involved to do so. Just getting involved in your own community can make a difference.
It is estimated by the Muslim Charities Forum that British Muslims gave approximately £100million to charitable causes during the month of Ramadan this year. To give some context, that equates to approximately £38 a second.
At the moment there is nothing to stop an animal abuser from moving a few miles up the road and then obtaining another animal to inflict further abuse on. Stricter laws need to be implemented to help protect vulnerable defenceless animals in the future.
In the last few months, I have made many trips across London, alone, using different mobility aids. All have been unnecessarily eventful, and have ben...
There are few pleasures as universal as dining out with family and friends. Grabbing a pint in the pub with an old friend or going to dinner with loved ones are some of our favourite ways to spend quality time social time with our nearest and dearest. Far from being merely a place to eat and drink, restaurants, cafes and bars are social spaces - social spaces that across the UK we elect to spend our time, and our money.
A child who is mentally 12-14 months old in a four-year-old's body is normal to us. But it's difficult for others to understand when his disabilities are - at first - invisible. Because he appears to them to be a typical four-year-old boy. I suppose, apart from the occasional what ifs, this is the hardest part. When other people get it, it's truly a real tonic.
A Game of Thrones fan theory that recently caught my attention speculates that the dreaded White Walkers marching steadily south are a metaphor for climate change, and the more I've thought about it, the more it bothers me.... I've done some research and lined up some of the simplest things we can all do to help protect the environment today.
As much as I am so happy to see disabled people portrayed in such a positive and innovative light (aka just like everyone else, doing the things that anyone would do...shock horror...) my heart also sunk.
I clearly recall thinking we'd never travel as a family again as Natty's diagnosis of Down's syndrome was delivered, and that it was bitterly ironic to try to explain our new life path with a travel story. Telling us that our life wasn't heading where we'd planned was crushing at that time... I for one am glad I'm in this boat. And I am grateful for the friendship of my wonderful travelling companions.
It has been one year since I arrived in the UK coming from Syria. One year ago, I made the perilous journey from Syria all the way to the UK. I joined thousands of people who made the difficult choice to resort to the sea to escape the five-year long and brutal war in Syria. A war which has brought the country to its knees and forced half of the nation out of their homes and caused one of the worst humanitarian crises since World War Two.