CHESTER wins European Access City Award 2017
As a regular user of DIAL West Cheshire Shopmobility's Service, I was privileged to be interviewed by Andrew Fletcher, from Radio 4, for the programme You and Yours.
Quite simply, without the Shop-mobility service, the access points to the City Walls, ramps and dropped kerbs, I would be unable to get around the City.
To hear the full interview,
Start of interview ..24min 35 seconds. Lasts 7 minutes.
Broadcast 6th January 2017
In October, I was honoured to speak at The AGSD's (Association of Glycogen Storage Diseases) two day conference in Tortworth Court Hotel, Gloucestershire. Celebrating 30 years of this wonderful charity, and having been a member since I was diagnosed with my disease in 2002, it was a fantastic opportunity to meet others (some old faces and lots of new ones too) with the same condition, and hear from professionals too.
I spoke about being diagnosed with my condition and how it has impacted on my life and that of my family. I explained how AGSD has been a source of support and enabled me to network with others in a similar situation. I talked about exercise, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy and the positive outcomes this can have both physically and emotionally on your well being. Although I now need equipment and support to help me lead the life I want, I demonstrated that it can be done. I explained how I had used my own experience to start my own business as an International Motivational Speaker and Disability Coach.
A great weekend with a combination of talks, patient experiences, professional viewpoints, good food and good company.
Happy 30th Birthday AGSD and here's to the next 30 years>
Andrea, Enabling Ability
On 23rd September, I was delighted to speak at DIAL West Cheshire's 30th birthday celebration at Chester racecourse.
An audience of dignitaries, Trustees, service users, volunteers celebrated this wonderful occasion.
I talked about my personal journey and how DIAL and DIAL West Cheshire Shopmobiilty have played a huge part in giving me continued independence and freedom. I explained how vital this service is to residents and visitors to Chester who need aids and equipment to help them get around. Being a member of The DIAL Disability Awareness Team (DATT) has helped change organisations attitudes towards disability.
I explained how everyone has ability whether they have a disability, long term medical condition and / or are elderly.
DIAL and DIAL West Cheshire Shopmobility are vital services. They are a lifeline, encouraging independence and freedom and hugely reducing isolation.
DIAL West Cheshire and DIAL West Cheshire Shop mobility must continue for the next 30 years.
HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY DIAL.
Andrea Duckworth, Enabling Ability
Live Local Work Local event in Ellesmere Port today. Great opportunity to network. Plus Dane, 1st Enable, Total People, Cheshire West and Chester Council and many others.
Recently spoke at the Cheshire Centre for Independent Living (CCIL) Employer Training event in Chester. We heard about how to be a good employer of PA's (personal assistants), the legislation we need to be aware of and there was an update on pensions.
I spoke about why our family employs PA's, the qualities we looked for in our PA's and the difference it has made to our lives. There is no doubt that for me, having a good team of PA's helps me live the life I want to, gives me independence and freedom and a good quality of life.
..Thanks for sharing your story. Inspiring."
I recently had the pleasure of speaking to 500 Pharmaceutical delegates at Sanofi Genzyme at their two day conference in London.
They wanted to hear from a patient's perspective, the impact of living with Pompe Disease. They were also interested to find out about my experience of treatment (Enzyme Replacement Therapy), which I have been receiving from their company, fortnightly, for the past 9 years.
It was wonderful to be able to share my experience of living with Pompe Disease, from pre diagnosis, post diagnosis and through to the present day. I talked about raising my family, our leisure time, exercise, and working and how my treatment has become part of my life. I answered lots of questions and my focus was very much that even when you are diagnosed with a progressive condition, life does not end. You have to adapt as you go along but with the right support and equipment you can achieve in all aspects of your life.
A wonderful experience, would love to do it again!
Delegate feedback ..
"If anyone still questions, can one overcome a disability and achieve huge things, you should listen to Andrea!"
"What an inspirational lady.... I hope that everything we do as a company draws from Andrea's story"
Between December 2015 and March 2016, I spoke at 8 training events for Children and Young People's Services at Cheshire West and Chester Council, for staff in education, health, and social care on key working and person centred planning approaches.
I shared my family's journey of raising a child with additional needs and explained that where we felt supported, things worked well. Together we identified where improvements could have been made. I explained that ours was a success story but it had been hard work and we had encountered many challenges along the way.!
Council staff found it really helpful to hear a "real life example" of a family going through the process. I felt it was really important to use our own experience to help other families.
I have posted blogs from some of the training events.
Testimonial from Rachel Niestroj, Children and Young People's Services...
Andrea's contribution to the training was invaluable and received very positive feedback from the delegates. We would have no hesitation is asking Andrea to speak at similar events again.
I recently spoke at a Peer Support Event for Cheshire Centre for Independent Living in Crewe.
Aimed at people employing PA's (personal assistants), Martha Jackson spoke about all the aspects of how to be a good employer. I shared our journey of disability and employing PA's, and explained how having PA's has enabled me to remain independent and helped me continue to live my life.
This was the first of a series of events and I look forward to speaking at the summer event later this year.
I was privileged to be one of the guest speakers at The Red Shift Radio Spring Community Hub Day on 20th April in Nantwich, Cheshire,
The event brought together businesses, charities, community groups and colleges, enabling us to network and build relationships.
My talk entitled "Overcoming obstacles on wheels" demonstrated that even when you have a disability, and you need to use walking aids such as a scooter, and walking frame to help get about, with your "wheels"you can still live, work and enjoy your leisure time. Disability need not be a barrier.
I shared our journey as a family and talked about how circumstance (personal and professional) had prepared me well to help and enable others, particularly those with a disability. I explained that to this end, I set up my own business,, Enabling Ability as an International Motivational Speaker.
I also had the privilege of being interviewed by Steven Bebe on Red Shift Community Radio.
Hear my interview by selecting the whole URL text (highlighted in italics & bold) underneath, using the left click. Once it turns blue, select 'Open URL' by right-clicking on the highlighted text.
Feedback from Community Hub Attendees
...Inspirational. Thank you for sharing your story.
..............A great, inspiring presentation. Thank you.
Andrea Duckworth is a motivational speaker & coach with over 20 years experience in the field of disability. Andrea is living with the progressive disease Pompe (Acid Maltase Deficiency) more