Collette’s story

In sharing her experiences as a disabled person, Collette found she could support others facing similar issues, and find her own identity.

‘I simply didn’t meet other disabled people’

I became a disabled person at six years old, acquiring a spinal cord injury in a car accident in which my mum died. Growing up in a small town, for years I simply didn’t meet other disabled people, and as a teenager I really struggled with my identity. I hated the idea I was different and did my absolute best to blend in with my friends. To such an extent I didn’t talk to my friends about any of the difficulties I had, and became really lonely and isolated. The truth was, I was living a very different life to my friends and I didn’t have anybody I felt I could talk to or who was going through the same things as me.

My introduction to WECIL came at a really important point in my life. A friend suggested I contact their advocacy team to help me with some problems I was having. At this time, a string of difficult health problems and frustratingly long periods on hospital waiting lists meant that I was unable to take up a place I had earned at university. Very low, and struggling to find a workplace that was wheel-chair accessible, I found real inspiration as a volunteer.

 

‘My experiences travelling meant I could help someone plan their first trip abroad’

Life as a disabled person was, and is endlessly challenging – often in ways most people don’t anticipate. Volunteering at WECIL, I found disabled people supporting and advising each other, benefiting from sharing experiences. My experiences travelling abroad meant I could help someone else plan their first trip on a plane. This sort of project would have really helped me when I was younger.

 

‘Never been so proud to call myself a disabled person’

Meeting other disabled people and helping them through WECIL’s services, almost gave me a new identity – I finally felt purposeful and had never been so proud to call myself a disabled person.

A few years on, I am proud to be a Trustee. I hope that my experiences of life as a disabled person, my knowledge of all the great projects and my fierce passion for fighting for the rights of other disabled people like myself, will give me the opportunity to help impact on the lives of the WECIL community as positively as WECIL has enriched mine.

News
Calendar

Calendar

There are no upcoming events.

Twitter

Find out more about Employability Day here https://t.co/zozn4Sy6nV https://t.co/MHsZHRYXsu
WECILBristol photo
WECIL Bristol @WECILBristol
WECIL will be supporting Employability Day this year by offering free advice and top tips to people who are looking for employment. We support anyone that identifies as disabled to find and sustain employment. Come and find our employment team on Friday @galleriesBRI https://t.co/OOcIlAp69J

WECIL will be supporting Employability Day this year by offering free advice and top tips to people who are looking for employment. We support anyone that identifies as disabled to find and sustain employment. Come and find our employment team on Friday @galleriesBRI https://t.co/OOcIlAp69J WECILBristol photo

We have a whole range of free courses, trips, events and activities for our community. If you sign up to our newsletter then you will be the first to hear about them! #beintheknow #signup https://t.co/NJX2X6Nkhs
@Instagram

Error: Access Token is not valid or has expired. Feed will not update.
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

There's an issue with the Instagram Access Token that you are using. Please obtain a new Access Token on the plugin's Settings page.
If you continue to have an issue with your Access Token then please see this FAQ for more information.