The Christmas Gift

The Christmas gift that keeps on giving

The festive season

In the United Kingdom people usually spend Christmas with their families. They watch each other opening the Christmas gift they have given them. Most houses have a Christmas tree and some actually have more than one. Gardens and houses are decorated with lights and decorations. This is also often a family occasion in itself .  Not many people know this but it was in fact Prince Albert the husband of our Queen Victoria who introduced the tree. A custom that was of his German heritage.

Whole towns and villages are decorated in lights and impressive decorations to celebrate this festive season. Lights are often turned on by a local celebrity and very often this marks the start of official Christmas. You can talk about Christmas without mentioning the CocaCola lorry. However, for many people the first time the advert is shown on the telly is in fact the official start of Christmas. I am sure we can all relate.

Christmas is definitely a busy time of the year for everyone. We are out shopping for gifts, going into big crowds of people and falling deep into the hustle and bustle of the festive season. However,  what is for many a joyful time can be for some a time of sorrow. For others it is a trigger that can spark a range of anxieties. There are those that fear the festive season for a range of reasons. It is these people I would like to talk about for a moment.

Cribbs Causeway

Lets take a closer look

I am sure you will agree that there are some staggering figures and facts available when we look at disabilities in the UK. One thing is for sure, not all disabilities are obvious. Some are not on display. Less than 8% of disabilities use a wheelchair. Yet, there is 13.3 million people in the UK alone that lives day in and day out with a disability. Most of those disabilities are invisible. 

Disability categories.

When asked nearly 50% of people think that a disability is a physical impairment. However this is simply not the case and the term disability covers a variety of different conditions.  Conditions such as mental health for example. But, today we want to talk about pain conditions. Definitely not obvious and conditions like Complex regional Pain Syndrome are also very misunderstood. 

Mental health is now being a lot more understood, and that is a great thing. However, we still have a long way to go. Pain conditions are in a category that takes its fair share of predigest backlash and yet the person living a life of chronic pain is dealing with physical implications as well and mental anxieties and social issues. Jamie speaks from his own experiences and See No Bounds are working closely with organisations to try and spread an understanding of how pain can effect a persons everyday life.

Christmas is a time of sharing

Yes Christmas is a time of sharing, but what about sharing respect for others. Lets look at reducing the figure of more than 60% of people that avoid talking to disabled people. The best way to learn is communication.  Children often stare not out of rudeness but inquisitiveness. Let them learn. Let them ask the questions. This will increase understanding and lower ignorance. By talking and giving respect we can lower the staggering figure of 40% of people who think disabled people are a social burden. Stand up for those who may not be able to do so. Ignorance is actually a much higher social burden than disability ever will be. So, the biggest Christmas gift this year could actually be completely free.

Jamie McAnsh Talking

Jamie's Talk "A Christmas Gift"

In Jamie’s talk “A Christmas Gift” he aims to offer young people an insight into invisible disabilities. He hopes to teach young people that there is more to give at Christmas beside presents. He shows them that there is the gift of respect and consideration. That everyone has the right to be treated fairly and with kindness. 

Jamie is an advocate for the future generations and believes that to get over some of the staggering statistics we are seeing today, you need to show young people it is okay to not be okay. He talks about his struggles with mental health as well as his journey through physical and pain related disability. Jamie talks about how when he opened up about his feelings his life changed. This was a gift given to him by a friend who simply listened at a time when this was a crucial factor to continue. 

This is a simple Christmas Gift that will keep on giving from generation to generation and will last well past Christmas and if shared enough then will change the world one person at a time. 

Christmas Covent Garden