Plymouth, UK – The Step into my Shoes campaign is a message that we wish to promote with our disability awareness stalls and workshops.
Step into my Shoes is our very own interactive disability awareness stall at various fetes and workshops around the Plymouth area. The campaign is all about changing society’s perceptions towards people with disabilities. We have found a fantastic way way to do so by challenging the public to complete cognitive task such as puzzles, reading, writing etc., as well as more physical activities such as golf, football and hoopla. All of these activities have been made all the more difficult because the individual has to wear visual impairment glasses and hand adaptions throughout the activities. Suddenly the task becomes not as easy as predicted and gives the public a greater insight into the world of disability.
The Campaign team consists of myself, Sharon Tiday Founder of the Campaign; Paul Tiday Chairman; Gary JonesSecretary; Mandy Jones who is Project Manager and Doaa Shayea Para who is an athlete wheelchair racer who is the Campaigns Ambassador. Jordon Jones is a volunteer and Ange Ross is the merchandise volunteer.
The Campaign Team has worked extremely hard raising awareness through the stall and we have received incredible feedback and such positivity from the public for this.
As well as running the stall we also ran our first Disability Awareness Workshop with ATC 197 Devonport Air Cadets. We set various tasks for the cadets to do while using the disability aids, even to the point that the Cadets marched in visual impairment glasses.
It was a rewarding experience for all involved and will be repeated again as the Campaign has been invited back to do outdoor activities such as wheelchair racing against para racer Doaa Shayea.
We received wonderful coverage from the Evening Herald for this event. As well as these local disability awareness events we also do the CFDA radio show with Access All Aerials Dame Hannah Rodgers Trust.
As well as all of the awareness that CFDA is promoting, we experienced a very heartwarming moment whn we visited two local lads Jack and Leon Childs and their parents Sharon and Luke. Jack, is three-years-old, and Leon who is six-years-old have sadly been diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a devastating disease that destroys muscles in the body. We had the absolute honour of recently meeting these brave lads in order to hand over one £120 that we had fundraised from our selling site towards the Childs family fund for great trips, disability equipment, and wheelchairs for the future. The boys captured the Campaign team’s heart who also managed to arrange some great trips out for them courtesy of Dartmoor Zoo and Plymouth Ski Centre.
Recently Jack and Leon and their parents went to Haynes Motor Museum and had an amazing time being treated to a VIP tour as well as being allowed to sit in the cars. At the end of the day they were each given a goody bag Mum Sharon Childs said the boys had an amazing time and couldn’t stop smiling all day.
The main aim as well as raising awareness amongst the public has always been to get disability awareness into the mainstream school curriculum, which we are making so much progress towards.
The positivity that we have received while out and about in our community has been amazing. The positive reaction we have received from our members site, twitter and selling site has also informed us that this is the time for society to embrace disability awareness for a more accepting society for all.
The GoFundMe page for Leon and Jack can be found here.
About Sharon Tiday, Founder of CFDA.
Sharon set the Campaign up after having to adjust to her own son’s diagnosis of high functioning autism.
“I became very angry with all the horrible stories I had read in the news about the ignorance out their towards people with disabilities, and it dawned on me that their needed to be more awareness brought into schools. By setting up a site, I found many other people were feeling the same way and then the Campaign just grew so quickly. When I set the site up I had no idea I had another journey to travel, as one of my twin daughter’s was first diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy, but in her first year of school started to become very ill, it was a fight for three years to finally get a diagnosis of ME for her at the tender age of eight-years-old. With everything that I experience as a mother, it has made me even more passionate to raise awareness of all types of disabilities and to change the ignorance in our society, and with a brilliant team behind me, we are working towards that goal.”