The Ramblings of a (technically) Failed Paralympian

Kelda Writes: The Ramblings of a (technically) Failed Paralympian

So Rio feels like it’s almost a distant memory…..and in what seems like a quick click of the fingers, everyone’s attention is turning to Tokyo.

I’ve always said that life is very much like a sat nav, you put in your destination and set off on your journey, but so often you come across hold ups or diversions that sends you on a different route….and sometimes you change your destination altogether.

Over the last 2 years I’ve been on the most incredible journey, some of it good, some of it not so good….and some of it bloomin’ amazing!! You never know quite where each turn is going to take you, and that’s never been more true than over the last 8 weeks.

Having failed to be selected for Rio, I was feeling pretty lost…..What was my goal? What was my motivation?…….

And then I was given the amazing opportunity to join the AGS Team.


The Adaptive Grand Slam Team are attempting the mountaineering Grand Slam, that’s the 7 highest peaks in the 7 continents, plus the North and South Pole. This is no mean feat….especially when you consider that they’re attempting to do it with an adaptive team, something that has never been done before. So everyone on the team is either registered disabled, or has been medically discharged from the military as a result of injury.

So just after watching my team mates smash it up in Rio, I headed off to Chamonix for a training week preparing for a summit attempt of Aconcagua, a 7,000m peak in Argentina.

It was the most incredible week with an awesome bunch of guys, and a week full of challenges, support, teamwork….and lots of laughs!

I could easily write this whole blog telling you about the week, the training we did, the highs, the lows, and how stunningly inspiring the mountains were….but there’s actually a different message I want to say. Because for me, the week reminded me of the person I want to be, and the values I want to live my life by. It wasn’t about being ‘the strongest’ or ‘the fastest’ or ‘the best’….it was about working as a team, supporting each other, and the challenge was between yourself and the mountains.

It made me stop and think….was paddling 200m faster than anyone else really so important!! Don’t get me wrong, every athlete wants to win, that’s the whole point in beating yourself every single day in training. But what really matters, what really counts, is about giving it your best. And if every day you strive to be the best version of yourself, you look out for other people, and you live your life by the values that are important to you, that, if you ask me, is what’s really important.

And so I’m smiling on so many levels, because since the end of the racing season, I’ve also been able to put some real time and effort into Climbing Out, something that’s so close to my heart, and something that I feel I’ve neglected while I’ve been focusing on Rio.

To see the growth and development of Climbing Out and the young people involved is something that makes me so, so proud….and there’s some amazing journeys going to happen over the coming months and years with the charity, and these will be journeys that I know will take so many young people to new and exciting places too.

Last weekend we ran a taster weekend involving several organisations that are looking to send young people on our programmes in the future. The passion, energy and enthusiasm from anyone was evidence of the great work the charity is doing, and with everyone working together, we will undoubtedly be able to reach more and more young people in need of support in the future.

So for me, what an amazing journey it’s been, and I’m excited about where it will take me next, and the people we can help along the way.

I didn’t end up going to the place I thought I was going to, but where I ended up, well that’s a pretty awesome place to be!




Crazy Creative Mondays

Join our mixed abilities adults group for a full-day or half-day every Monday and we’ll help you to develop new skills whilst meeting new people and having lots of fun. The day is very much free-flow with everyone undertaking their own project, with occasional specialised days where we can all try out something new.

Come for half a day or bring your lunch and spend the whole day with us whatever you decide, we’ll ensure you get the best from your time in the Studio, whilst also ensuring that your support gets the opportunity for some fun too.

To find out more and book a place please call us on (01584) 877272 or contact Nikki Hook by email [email protected].

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Sue Bott CBE, gives evidence to MP’s on disability & the built environment

Sue Bott, CBE Deputy CEO Disability Rights UK together with Zara Todd, Chair, Inclusion London, and Jolie Goodman, Manager and Lead Facilitator, Mental Health Foundation gives evidence to MP’s on disability & the built environment.

Members will remember Sue addressing our members at our AGM in 2014. Courtesy of Disability Rights UK, we share with you the video of the meeting that took place on 26th October 2016.

While the video is long, it is very interesting & very worthwhile watching, covering-accessibility to public buildings ie shops, hotels (includes reference to a hotel in Shrewsbury!), the working environment. hearing loops and much more,  It also touches on shared spaces & transport issues but that is subject to a different report. Later in the video, they include details of planning regulations, building regulations where it applies & guidance plus it features Equality Act information.

Click here to watch the video:

Click here for more information on the session:


Disability Rights UK

Feedback about Assessment & Treatment Units wanted

Start Date:
24th October 2016

End Date:
30th November 2016

Start Time:

End Time:

Change with support from Disability Rights UK would like to hear about experiences of people with learning disabilities who have experienced Assessment & Treatment Units (inpatient hospitals) and moving back to the Community.

By completing the survey that is in easy read, your information will help Change, together with partners Disability Rights UK, Win Win Alliance, Shaping Our Lives to find out what works well and what can be improved. It is very important to hear people’s views because findings will be used in Transforming Care with the Department of Health. 

If you would like more information you can speak to Claire or Sarah at CHANGE on: 0113 2426619 Or email us on: [email protected] or [email protected] 

Questionnaires should be returned by 30 November 2016. You can return them by post or email. If you would like paper copies please contact: Claire Drake CHANGE, 4th Floor, Calls Landing, 36-38 The Calls, Leeds, LS2 7EW

Click here to take part with the on-line survey: Moving Back to the Community Questionnaire



Do you access Adult Social Care in Shropshire or Care for Someone who does?

Start Date:
24th October 2016

End Date:
31st October 2016

Start Time:

End Time:

If you access adult social care in Shropshire or care for someone who does then your help is needed!

Adult social care is the term used to describe the help adults need to live as well as possible with any illness or disability they may have. It can include help with things like washing, eating, dressing, getting out & about as well as keeping in touch with family and friends. 

Adults who may need extra care and support include:

  • Older people
  • people with learning disabilities
  • physically disabled people
  • people with mental health problems
  • people with drug and/or alcohol issues
  • carers

Would you be willing to help with this survey, all replies are anonymous. The survey closes on 31st December 2016.

Click here to go to survey

If you know of someone who cannot complete this on-line survey, pop into one of the Citizens Advice receptions & ask for a paper copy & prepaid envelope for return. If that is not possible contact [email protected] or call 07780 852 229 and we will help you. (Note this survey has been supported by Healthwatch Shropshire Research Grant.


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Sight Loss Group Activities for November 2016

All sessions are FREE unless otherwise stated.

Oswestry Group meets on Wednesday 2nd November 10 am to 12 noon at Oswestry Library, Arthur Street, Oswestry SY11 1JN 

This month we are having a session on floral arrangements. We have a floral design tutor joining us to show us how to make a door wreath using either tinsel or conifer.

If anyone has any conifer or evergreen foliage they can bring a long, please do.

Ludlow Group meets on Monday 14th November 10.30 am -12.30 pm at St Peters Church, Henley Road, Ludlow SY8 1QZ

Please bring a tale or something from your favourite holiday. We will also have a cream tea and boccia on hand for those who like to play.

Shrewsbury Cycling at Sundorne Sports Village-Wednesday 16th November 10.30 am-11.30 am

We will be having our last cycling session at Sundorne Sports Village, Sundorne Shrewsbury SY1 1RQ for 2016.


Shrewsbury group meets on Monday 28th November 2 pm -4 pm The Roy Fletcher Centre, Cross Hill, Shrewsbury SY1 1JE

 This month we welcome Sioned from Shropshire libraries to find out more about Living Paintings and a possible Touch 2 See book club.

For more information on any of the above activities, please call 01743 342163, Rachel will be happy to help.


Computer Courses for People with Sight Loss.

Are you are interested in learning more on how computers can change your life? Vision Technology and Training Shropshire have an IT suite with computers adapted for those with sight loss. Courses will soon be starting at Helena Lane Centre, 20 Hamlet Road, Ludlow SY8 2NP. No experience necessary, sessions will be geared to individual needs & weekly sessions will last 2 hours at a minimal cost.

Click here for full details: vtts-training-advert

For more information contact Pauline Rose on 01743 257746

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Inclusive Family Fun (This Half Term)

Empathy for Special Children have two events taking place this Half Term.

Out of this World! Family Fun Friendship Group-Open Days takes place on Saturday 22nd October 10 am to 12 noon at Park Lane Centre, Telford TF7 5QZ & from 2 pm to 5 pm at Craven Arms Community Centre, Newington Way, Craven Arms SY7 9PS.  Click here for more details.

Telford Poster: open-day-flyer-telford
Craven Arms Poster: open-day-craven-arms


Halloween Glow Run, Inclusive Event for all the family takes place on Saturday 29th September at Craven Arms Community Centre, Newington Way, Craven Arms SY7 9PS.

Junior Glow Run, Over 16′s Glow Run, Best Fancy Dress and more plus a Disco Party after. All raising money for Empathy.

Click here for poster: glow-run-and-halloween-party-16

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Albrighton Trust-Me & You Project

Me & You Project at Albrighton Trust are looking for people aged 15-25 who have a learning difficulties, special needs or physical disability? Would like to learn something new? Then book your place now while there is still space.

If that is you, they are inviting you to take part in a 6 week (6 one day sessions to take place on Wednesday 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th November & 7th & 14th December) to build confidence and self esteem through the teaching of outdoor activities.

Throughout the course, you will have opportunity to learn new skills, gain qualifications, take on leadership roles, make new friends & have fun plus plan your future.

Click here for brochure: 022 giving you more information including who to contact for further information & what is on offer.


Whizz-Kidz Family Event at Attingham Park

Come & join us for wheelchair accessible den building, campfire lighting including roasting marsh mellows, hallowe’en themed games, Forest School Crafts, pumpkin making & more. (Some activities are weather permitted)

Taking place on Tuesday 25th October between 12 noon and 5 pm at Attingham Park SY4 4TW


Cost: Free for young wheelchair users (up to 25 years of age) and three family members and/or friends. Additional guests welcome but must pay National Trust entry fee. 

Bring a  packed lunch or purchase food from the National Trust Cafes. Parking is FREE. Changing Places facility on site.

Please sign up by contacting Ray on [email protected] or 07788 435 149