Katherine has been involved with the Trendsetters programme since she was 12. It aims to let young disabled people make new friends and learn new skills. Katherine is sharing her story as part of the #100Days100Stories campaign.
I’ve been a Trendsetter since the project was started back when I was just 12 years old. Back then the scheme to help young disabled people was just a pilot programme. I’m now approaching my 18th birthday and I can’t believe that I’m going to be leaving Trendsetters. The prospect makes me really sad!
The project has been a lifesaver
The project has been a lifesaver for me as it’s given me new skills to handle my disability as well as the support from fellow Trendsetters who were both older and younger than me. I’ve loved having the opportunity to work both individually and as part of a bigger group. I know that I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the scheme. I now want to help other people have a similar experience that I had with Trendsetters. It’s so important that young disabled people and their families and friends can get the support they need. I’ve learnt so many things growing up with a disability that could be helpful to others.
I’m now in my last year of school. I’ve been in a mainstream school for all of my life and I’m now doing my A-Levels in biology, chemistry and maths. I’ve had cerebral palsy which has been a minor complication for me, as it means that I’m a full time wheelchair user among other things, like not having full hand control. Mostly I have difficulty multi-tasking (shouldn’t every girl be able to multitask!?).
When I’m not studying I’m just like any other teenager, but I especially enjoy creative writing. I’d love to do more writing about some of the issues teenagers face, like bullying, self-image and making people think a bit more about what they have and who their role models are.
I’d love to write more about how disabled people deal with people’s reactions so I can tell other young people that you don’t have to be superman/woman all the time and that at times you will get awkward situations and questions from friends and others. Trendsetters helped give me the confidence to write, speak out and help other disabled people. I can’t wait to put some of the skills I’ve learnt in to practice and to stay involved with Scope’s work!