Soon after arriving, I entered Miss Torbay 1974 at the age of 31. There was a big article in the local paper as I was the first of many contestants to enter that year. I was also the first ever wheelchair user and made the finals. (The strapline of the article reads ‘Wheelchair Girl Aims to Be Queen’!)
In 1979 I won the National Wheelchair Dancing Finals with my dance partner and fellow resident, Geoffrey White. Afterwards we got to meet Leonard Cheshire himself.
In the mid-1990s I moved into a flat with my partner, Phil. We then travelled the world, jetting off to the US, Kuala Lumpur and Australia.
In 2012 I returned to Douglas House. Now, this centenary year has brought great memories for me. I know I’ll never forget winning the wheelchair dancing title or meeting Leonard Cheshire.
I met Leonard Cheshire on a few occasions. He was a fantastic man and he had a lot of time for people. It was wonderful.
I decided that nothing was going to stop me from living life to the full. I’ve always wanted to show what disabled people can achieve.