Story 6

YouthAbility

I joined Leonard Cheshire in 2005 to run a pilot scheme called YouthAbility Cumbria.

The aim of YouthAbility is to provide respite and leisure activities for young people with disabilities aged 11 to 25. Having grown up with a disability myself, I understand the social and physical barriers young people with disabilities face in day-to-day life.

I was quickly impressed with the history of the charity and its philosophy. It is very rare to find an organisation with such an inspiring story behind its creation. I was soon energised by what it had to offer and was very keen to promote its ethos on a local level.

In 2008 we started to wear Leonard Cheshire Disability t-shirts. This made a real difference to staff morale and also helped spread the word of our charity. I would often get on the bus on my way to work wearing my bright red t-shirt with the Leonard Cheshire logo on it. On a daily basis I would enter into conversation with people (generally the older generation) and they would share stories with me about the war time. They would often tell me of family members who had used Leonard Cheshire homes in the UK, and how we are known for our great work with young people from the Furness community.

On a personal level I feel honoured to carry on the work that Leonard started. I still feel proud wearing my red t-shirt and developing services throughout the local area.

It is very rare to find an organisation with such an inspiring story behind its creation.