Previously broadcast webinars available to view at www.reachinsights.live and below!
Cornel is a Senior Access Officer – Disability Manager at Cheshire West and Chester Council , a disability and partnership strategy expert, employability professional and Oxford University graduate. Alongside the day job and in his spare time, Cornel is a professional musician, with a number of prestigious performances and an illustrious musical portfolio to his name. An avid fundraiser from the age of 6, Cornel raised thousands of pounds which was recognised when he received the Pride of Britain Child of Courage Award in March 2004.
Cornel is also Founder and Chief Executive of the Cornel Romanian Rehabilitation Centre Trust.
Follow Cornel on Facebook, Instagram and check out his YouTube channel for more great music
For many years Frank has campaigned for a fair deal on behalf of families and individuals with disabilities. His breadth of knowledge around Disability Living Allowance has been invaluable to many and Frank has represented several cases with families at Disability Appeal Tribunals.
Frank has many, many strings to his bow! A father of 5 and Grandfather of 5, Frank lives a remarkably independent life. He can ride a modified bike, drive an automatic car, and also enjoys sailing. Frank is extremely skilful using his feet completing daily tasks with ease, writing, working on a computer, gardening, playing darts to name but a few.
In 2015 he received an MBE for services to people with disabilities and to the wider community in Crediton, and for the 12th year Cllr Frank Letch was elected chairman of Crediton Town Council and Mayor of Crediton May 2020.
Later this year Frank will be featured in a film about his life, we will keep you posted!
Frank is a Reach Ambassador and active disability rights campaigner and has a wealth of experience in handling DLA applications. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if their is a particular question you would like to discuss further and we can forward on to Frank.
Returning key speaker from The Reach Annual Family Weekend in 2018, psychosocial practitioner Orla Duncan will be sharing advice on how to cope when answering those ‘trickier’ questions from strangers, friends and family. Other discussion points will include, as a new parent, grandparents, toddler and young school age children, residentials, starting high school/secondary school
Orla, who for many years, has worked closely alongside the charity Changing Faces, helps children with a wide range of conditions that can affect appearance. In offering specialised emotional and practical support to children with scars, markings, upper limb difference and other conditions that affect appearance, Orla can help build self-confidence and teach strategies and ways of coping with negative comments.
Please do email us any worries, situations that you are unsure how to approach, we can always contact Orla & forward on any questions or concerns, email to email@example.com
Melissa is an ambassador for disability in the arts and advocates for better representation of disability on and off screen and stage.
In 2018, Melissa’s smartphone was hacked and intimate photos were released. Melissa used the situation to speak out against body shaming and combat taboos around disability, sex and body dysmorphia. The experience inspired the BBC Radio 4 drama In My Own Skin, written by Debbie Oates.
In February 2020 Melissa’s acclaimed one woman show – SNATCHED with The Lowry and Arts Council England, is a humorous and revealing show mixing monologues with melodrama, vulgar news headlines and musical storytelling. The show totally refuses to display embarrassment or remorse in order to champion female sexuality, fight body shaming and the taboo of sex and disability.
Melissa is also co founder of TripleC, a disabled led organisation that uses drama and theatre based workshops to enrich the lives of people living with disabilities. This incredible role model is an ambassador and campaigner for actors with disabilities, helping to break down the barriers faced for disabled actors and evoking positive social change in society’s attitude and approach toward disability. Melissa is ambassador for Invisiyouth and Models of Diversity.
“I, like many disabled actors, are continuously fighting to change the way disability is seen in this industry. For me it’s about experiencing situations differently to people without disabilities and therefore having a different take on the world.”
Follow Melissa on Instagram and Twitter
The number of bionic hands on the market is growing with each passing year. Competition is heating up and helping to drive prices down.
The immediate goal of Bionics for Everyone is to give those who have lost physical or neurological capabilities information on the latest bionic options available to them.
Everything you need to know about bionic arms and hands, including all the current devices, technologies, and the latest research is continuously updated, Bionics for Everyone is intended as your one-stop repository for information on upper-limb bionics.
All areas are covered in detail, from functionality, user control systems, below elbow, above elbow to partial hand devices plus much, much more. Bionics for Everyone is educating the general public about how bionic technologies can help people and also trying to build public support for expanded insurance coverage to help pay for these solutions.
“Our hope is that, with increased awareness, we can help build support to make these technologies available to everyone.”
Follow Bionics for Everyone on Facebook and Twitter
Reach member, Anoushé is a champion for all those experiencing barriers and self-limiting beliefs. Born missing her right arm below the elbow, living with multiple health conditions, a cancer survivor, a Muslim and coming from an ethnic minority, Anoushé has never let what society or culture thinks she should do limit her or dictate the direction of her life. She is constantly breaking the mould and challenging not only her own beliefs about her own potential but also that of society and her own culture.
Anoushé has become a role model to anyone facing a self-limiting belief or barrier and is sharing her journey to help others unlock their potential. Anoushé candidly talks about her life, how she has remained resilient in the face of huge obstacles and talks about issues that we as a society do not talk about enough.
A civil servant by day, Anoushé is a paraclimber in the UK and an ambassador for both Ehlers-Danlos Support UK and Limbpower. In 2017, Anoushé won the Asian Women of Achievement Award for Sport and the 2017 recipient of the Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration at The Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards.
Rupinder Kaur is the award winning founder of Asian Women Mean Business, AWMB, a British Asian woman Rupinder has experienced and excelled in both corporate and entrepreneurial environments. With eighteen years experience in the world of human resources, psychology, coaching and mentoring Rupinder is a mother to Daya and Sahib who has an upper limb difference. She understands the challenges that working mothers face but also how becoming a mother can challenge your identity as a woman, your life aspirations and trying to understand who you really are.
Experiencing postnatal depression after giving birth to Sahib in 2017, Rupinder struggled to talk openly at the time. Very few close family members and friends knew, there were feelings of shame, guilt and embarrassment to admit it, but Rupinder managed to shift it by treating the cause and addressing the symptoms.
“PND was something that I had to go through to make sense of many things in my life, my one question constantly through that time was “what are you here to teach me?” And teach me it did.
Compassion. Empathy. Self belief. Boundaries. The power of our thoughts and emotions. Humanity. Love.”
Hollie represents Wales in the Commonwealth Games and was the youngest ever field athlete to ever compete in the Paralympics/Olympics, at the age of 14 at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing throwing a personal best. Hollie also threw a personal best in 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, winning a gold medal in the F46 javelin in the 2016 Summer Paralympics at Rio, also throwing a new world record at the same time.
In 2018, she became the first ever Javelin thrower in history to hold all four major titles in the same Paralympic/Olympic 4-year cycle: Rio Paralympics and world record 2016, London World Championships and world record 2017, Berlin European Championships and course record 2018 and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and world record 2018. She also holds four consecutive world titles: 2013 Lyon, 2015 Doha, 2017 London, and 2019 Dubai.. Hollie was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to field athletics. Facing a new challenge in November 2020, Hollie joined the cast of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out, The Castle
Representing GB in Tokyo at the Paralympic games 2021, join Hollie and hear all about her successes, achievements, training and hopes for the 16th Summer Paralympics, interview with Alastair Greener.
Para Taekwondo fighter, Amy Truesdale has had quite the impressive medal tally over the years and is best known for her World Championship wins in 2014 and 2017. In 2019 alone Amy won a bronze medal in the European Para Taekwondo Open Championships, Gold in the Asian Para Open Taekwondo Championships, Gold in the Korea Open Para Taekwondo, and in the African Para Taekwondo Championships, Amy won yet another Gold!
Representing GB, Amy’s primary aim is to win gold at Para Taekwondo’s debut at Tokyo in 2021 and then hopefully do the same in Paris in 2024. Amy is also a keen advocate for disability sport and has made it her mission to raise awareness, she will be talking with Alastair about her sporting journey also focussing on her training and how she adapts exercise and methods to best suit her needs.
Andy Brittles – LimbPower – National Sports Development Officer
Continuing the conversation around sport, Andy Brittles will be chatting with Alastair about his role in LimbPower in supporting and providing sporting opportunities with schools, clubs and other organisations. While LimbPower focus on the sports our community have said are their gateway to sports (swimming, walking, cycling, running and going to the gym) they also work with a number of National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of sport for their events and activities.
Ruth Lester OBE – Retired Consultant Hand Surgeon, ‘How Hand Surgeons Think’ presentation plus Live Q&A’s
A member of The British Society for Surgery of the Hand, Ruth holds the position of honorary consultant plastic surgeon at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. Originally trained as a plastic surgeon, Ruth became a consultant as a Burns Surgeon at the Birmingham Accident Hospital, where she discovered a need for hand surgery. Around 1990, Ruth was contacted by the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, requesting that she join them to help with children’s hand conditions. She then went on to negotiate a transfer to The Birmingham Children’s Hospital as she found that she wanted to operate on children at a younger age and therefore needed the facilities of a children’s hospital.
After retiring in 2015, The Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust were of course delighted to hear of Ruth’s OBE award received for her pioneering work in caring for children and young people with hand and upper limb differences, describing her “constant dedication to improving the care and support for the children and families she looks after” as “an inspiration to us all. Not only is she an expert in her field, but she is a wonderful and humble human being who has put young people at the heart of everything that she’s done.”
A valued member on the Reach Board of Trustees, Ruth was a key speaker at the 2017 Annual Family Weekend and regularly helps advise and supports members. Ruth will be discussing ‘How does a surgeon think?
Many enquiries are made regarding surgery options, please email your enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org all enquiries will be responded to.
Joanna Allen – Disability Inclusion. For me, its personal.
Joanna, proud mum to 8 year old Daisy and 6 year old James, wife, CEO of graze, and co-chair of enable, Unilever‘s employee network for people with disabilities alongside Nakul Gaur talks with Alastair and shares her story. Discovery of James’s upper limb difference at her 20 week scan started a whistle-stop tour of further testing, screening, a daunting amniocentesis, DNA scans, options being presented. Together, Joanna and her husband confronted the possibility of the darkest of scenarios.
Join Joanna and listen to her journey of how early support gave hope, viewing her pregnancy ‘the opportunity to reflect on my own behaviour and bias’ and on how inclusive Joanne previously viewed herself – as an individual, as a friend, as a marketeer.
Cornwall Mobility is the largest mobility centre in the UK. Mobility centres aim, is to provide solutions, services, support and reassurance to people of all ages who face independence and mobility challenges. Some of the most commonly asked questions we have enquiries about, are about learning to drive with an upper limb difference.
Sascha Jacob and Joanna Dixon from Cornwall Mobility will be sharing a presentation which will enlighten and inform, covering license application, coding on licenses, assessments, costs and adaptations. They will also be demonstrating various adaptations that can be fitted in a car.
Remap – Custom made equipment to help people live more independent lives
In 1964 Pat Johnson, an engineer with ICI, decided to help his disabled sister by making some improvements to her home because as a wheelchair user, she was experiencing difficulties in managing daily life. By 1968 a network of groups or panels of volunteers were set up across the country. The acronym Remap officially stands for Rehabilitation Engineering Movement Advisory Panel but these days it is now known as Resourceful Engineers Make Anything Possible. Remap now covers the whole of the UK and completes 3,500 projects every year helping young and older disabled people to become more independent, and all for free!
Alastair Greener will be joined by Remap’s Chair of trustees, Peter Cattermole, who shares a practical demonstration of a project he worked on and will be joined by Ethan, who benefited from the design and his mum, and Andrea the occupational therapist who was able to advise.
As their strapline implies ‘making things possible’ is there aim, if there is something you thought you could never get an adaption or modification made to make life a little simpler for you, email any questions or enquiries to email@example.com or directly to Remap at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01732 760209
Back in March 2020 Reach and LimbBo Foundation collaborated with Mitt and supplied children to Mitt prosthesis for free and for a whole year!
Join Nate and DBF Ambassador Alex Lewis, who will be discussing how Project Limitless has grown, a demonstration of the Mitt and its range of adaptions, and also details of how you can register your child to join, and be involved in this amazing project!
Previous speakers at our Annual Family Weekends, Dorothy and her team at BOLDkids and collaboration with Professor Tamar Makin, an expert on brain plasticity at the UCL Plasticity Lab are no strangers to Reach!
Dorothy discusses their ongoing studies and research project where everyday behaviour and brain development is studied in children with limb differences. Their aim is to keep building a better understanding of the amazing ways in which these children develop to not only cope with, but thrive with, their upper limb differences.
For more information about current and up and coming studies click here BOLDkids Followup
Watch Alastair Greener interview Dr Dorothy Cowie!