From DAS, we joined various other panels, in which we were able to raise an issue from the perspective of a person living with a disability, quite a daunting prospect at first, which became easier the more we did it. Encouraged and supported by the entire resident engagement community involvement team, we have as well as moved mountains.
As a result of becoming involved, we’ve met a gift horse and have been given numerous opportunities to learn new and exciting skills in the shape of training courses, which includes ‘tuned in to radio’ & ‘mental health first aid’ to name but a couple. It’s certainly not a talking shop. We’ve done conferences and that March and rally in Cardiff. Really standing up for what we believe in as involved residents, which bring us up to tonight, well, not quite yet.
This was done at Nexus House, where we were interviewed and photographed for the article, which also covered my appearance in Maindee fest, coming second in the talent show, yet another life changing moment. Brought on through encouragement and support from the gang here at Newport City Radio and Newport City Homes.
We’d come home from our trip to Blackpool, the Vegas of the North, and having made a hole in the unpacking, I left Deb to sort out the washing, whilst I went for the easy option of sorting through the backlog of post, where amongst the usual things, there was a letter which, at first, we thought was from a business we deal with. Deb opened and read it, saying ‘we’ve been invited to GAVO’. I had a look, saying ‘we’ve been shortlisted for an award’. So the next, having got over the shock, I rang them to tell them we’d be coming to the do.
Things went quiet, but not for long. In DAS the next day, we mentioned our good news, not realising a fellow member was also up on that shortlist. Abbie Mahan nominated us a very nice thought. We soon discovered that everyone seemed to know. In our lives, we’ve crossed many bridges, some more easily than others, but now here we are, about to write another chapter in our life, and if we’re being honest, there were times we did feel like giving up. ‘What’s the point?’ then from nowhere, that proverbial novice said ‘No. Don’t give up and throw in the towel. Don’t just fade away into the night’ so we didn’t.