“There is a buzz in the city” #100days100stories

Tom in his wheelchair
Tom is a film-maker living at Lewis Martin Court, Scope’s transition service in Cardiff.

Guest post from Tom Evans. Tom lives at Lewis Martin Court, Scope’s transition service in Cardiff, which is designed to support disabled people as they work towards living independently.

Tom has travelled extensively, is a fluent French speaker and has a degree in film studies. He’s made two short films since graduating from university and is about to start work on a new film project.

I was born in France and moved to different countries during my childhood, including Germany and England. Partly due to my health and partly due to my dad getting a job in England, we moved to mid-Wales when I was 12. I went to a mainstream high school there.

My impairment is cerebral palsy, which affects me in several ways. Whilst everyone’s disability is different, mine affects the messages from the brain to my legs. I used a walker for many years but I use a wheelchair now.

I did my BSc in Film at Staffordshire University and finished it in four years. I left University in 2009, and went back home to live with mum and dad for four years and did bits and bobs.

At home in mid-Wales, there wasn’t much for me to do – not many jobs, and definitely not for people who want to get into film-making. Once I heard about Lewis Martin Court (LMC), I wanted to come to Cardiff to find out more about it.

I wanted to live in LMC because it’s a transition service – it supports people like me to go from being at home to living on their own. It’s different to living at home.

There is a buzz in the city and I missed that when I lived at home. There are different cultures and different experiences; there are things to do.

My family would describe me as very different now. I would say I am different in a good way.

Soon I will be working on a film based in the UK. I will have a variety of jobs, but the main one will be continuity director. I will be based on set, and I will be in charge of the continuity of the scenes between ‘takes’.

It’s my job to ensure that every scene is set up exactly as the one before, unless the director wants it to look different.

In future I’ll have to start balancing work with living independently, and everything I am learning now is a positive step towards that.

Tom has shared his story as part of Scope’s 100 Days, 100 Stories campaign. Find out what we’re doing and how you can get involved