The Christmas Gift

The Christmas Gift

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By See No Bounds

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

Useful links

https://www.scope.org.uk/media/disability-facts-figures/

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/disability-facts-and-figures

https://www.dlf.org.uk/content/key-facts

 

My day at Myddelton College

My day at Myddelton College

Recently I experienced one of the highlights of my Speaker Career as a guest speaker. I was the guest at  Myddelton College in Denbigh for the 2019 speech day. It could not have been a more worth while journey.

I met some amazing people who I truly believe will soon come to be considered as my friends, I helped present awards for academic and personal achievements to a future generation of Wales. And I was given the privilege of being offered the opportunity to tell my story to a school of amazing young people, parents, and teachers.

Myddelton College became a part of my life story, a chapter in my book and a memory I will definitely hold dear. The welcome and hospitality I received was incredible and very much appreciated.

Thank you so much for having me as a guest at your amazing school and I look forward to seeing you all again in the future. Please see some of the amazing comments I received via social media.

Whilst attending my children’s speech day at Myddelton College yesterday I was fortunate enough to listen to your amazing and inspirational talk you gave. As a parent I would like to say thanks for the talk you gave. I thought it gave a very strong message which not just to the children but the adults can take heart and strength from your message that whatever life throws at you, you are going to have your highs and your lows in life. Appreciate the highs and “getbackup” from the lows it will make you’re a more driven, determined and better person with a more compassionate  rounded view on life.

Kath Lightbown Had the privilege of attending speech day at Myddelton college yesterday. Your address to the pupils and their families was truly inspirational. Should you ever be in this area again I would welcome the opportunity, if possible, to come and listen to you. If you ever publish a book I would be the first in the queue to obtain a copy. Thank you for sharing your life experiences with us.

lauracj77

As a parent at Myddelton College’s speech day, I just wanted to say a huge thank you…Your story was inspirational, you have a fantastic attitude to life and certainly one I know my daughter and I will certainly take a lot from #alwaysgetbackup

eryn.whitee23

thank you so much for an amazing speech!! i cried near the end!! you have had such a hard go at life but you have got through it!! As my dad said to you ‘your friend and my dads friend died together such a small world🙂’ thank you for an amazing speech!! x

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My talk with St Cadoc’s church ladies. Raglan

When I was asked by Beverly Jones of Awaken Life Coaching to talk in front of a group of ladies, in St Cadoc’s church and where they are all older ladies. I admit I was a little worried. These where a group of ladies that have lived through a world war. Seen and experienced things I could not begin to understand. And here I am with a story of my life. How could I even begin to offer them anything of any value.

I decided to open up my talk with a poem, something I wrote, something that had dear meaning to me. Very quickly I realised that my audience was engaged, so i continued with my talk feeling a lot more relaxed and comfortable.

I told the story of waking up one day and my life had changed for ever, I talked about loss and about how I had to learn to cope. I spoke about the path I had travelled on my journey and the exciting things I had experienced along the way.

These ladies where relating to me each in their own way, they where listening intently to what I had to say and I felt a real vibe of interest in the room. The setting was St Cadoc’s church Raglan  with the large church organ behind to set the scene.  It accrued to me exactly how fantastic this was, so prudent, I was a single man tiny in form engulfed in the architecture of this absolutely stunning building. Lit by the light coming in from the massive stain glass windows towered by the stone walls and watched by this incredible church organ. And yet here I was making a difference to people’s lives. simply by communicating and sharing my experiences with others. This was an amazing experience.

I spoke about my journey through medical investigations, tests and examinations, heads started to nod and a reaction of familiarity showed in the ladies faces. It dawned on me that these ladies had been on similar journey as I had. Of course they had! why did i even think for a second they would not understand the feeling of ignorance you get from doctors at times. The pain and frustrations of once being capable and suddenly you realise you are not so able. Each and every person in that room had a story, each story special and full. everyone there had experienced so much and seen so much and yet they offered me the grace of appreciating what I had to say.

I spoke about jumping out of aeroplanes and a sea of smiles shined back at me. I told the story of challenge 2015 and the interest grew stronger, these amazing ladies where so captured by my stories and tales of craziness, every joke I cracked was welcomed with laughs and interaction between each other, the best part was that all the way through they never took their eyes off me and that was extremely refreshing. (not one single mobile in the room)

I was so please when i finished and was showered with applause and congratulations, the questions flowed that I was happy to respond to. I explained what exactly a blog was, for some reason this was by far one of my finest moments of the past few years.

I have done many talks and I can honestly say that this was one of my favourites. I worried about what value I could offer these amazing ladies, I hope I achieved what I set out to do. However the fact they ended up offering me the grace of their time fulling with pride. The experience left me feeling very humble but really buzzing all at the same time.

This right here is what I need in life. This moment is the drug I am addicted to. This is what I want for myself. The moment you sit in front of a group of people share your time and story and leave with the feeling you have added value to the lives of other people is worth more that anything in the world. I would like to thank the ladies of St Cadoc’s church Raglan group for the most amazing evening and an experience I will hold very dear for a long time.  Thank you xxx