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Hi, my name is Snowbird!

SnowbirdSnowbird Member Posts: 6 Listener
Brand new to this group. Looking forward to seeing how it works and sharing. 

Replies

  • GeoffBosworth195661GeoffBosworth195661 Member Posts: 163 Pioneering
    Hi @Snowbird Welcome in joining the community of friends. We have advisors for a number of health topics and a chat community room joining others in anything you want. If you scroll to the bottom you will see what areas that might interest you and enjoy. Have a lovely afternoon.  
  • AlexAlex Posts: 1,325 Scope community team
    Hi @Snowbird

    Welcome to the community! We'd love to know more about you and why you've signed up to the site?


  • SnowbirdSnowbird Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Hello @Alex

    I am a wheelchair user and live with many peculiarities as a result of having MS although when I am otherwise fit and well the MS is generally pretty well behaved and I class myself as a fit "wonky" person who loves skiing ( I ski with DSUK - Disability Snowsports UK ) and generally being as active as I can.  

    I live alone ( people do not seem to be able to cope with my peculiarities over any length of time! ) and so it can be good to have places where one can get advice on - well, all kinds of stuff!  And even if someone was to put up with me and my oddities, I wouldn't necessarily want to discuss everything with them, and/or they might not be much help. I have lots of questions particularly as I have just had a big birthday (!!) around pensions and benefits...  However, I need to think about things and work out what my questions are first!

    As I am no spring chicken, I have gone through many life experiences some of which have presented extra challenges by being disabled or have arisen directly, or indirectly, as a result of these challenges.   For instance, I have made three claims for disability discrimination: one had the backing of the EHRC and concerned being able to travel on trains (in the north - Yorkshire) with my scooter, when I used one; and two in the workplace, one of which was resolved without a hearing and one which resulted in my dismissal and an employment tribunal at which I was a litigant person. (I got a small gain and might have got a bigger one had I been able to go to appeal - the wording of the judgement almost seemed to invite this - which I was ill-equipped to do as a result of a close family bereavement.)  

    During my latter working years I was a TU rep and am now Equalities Officer for the Southern Retired Members Branch of the UCU (University & College Union).  

    I have recently moved back to the South from my home county of Yorkshire which I found largely inaccessible in so many ways having waged a 3 year battle in trying to find an accessible property in an accessible area.  Thanks to friends in Hampshire, a bungalow was found but it has cost me a third as much again to get it adapted for my needs, alongside enduring a running battle (not quite over!) with the DWP who seemed proud to announce back in 2014 that they had "been watching [me] for sometime" having received (anonymous, I suspect) "reports that [I was] 'not really disabled on account of all the activities' [I] do"! Finances apart, the move was a massively challenging undertaking for which I had little back up and support at my point of origin.  

    The south is no utopia but, despite a very challenging start which was sufficient to involve police intervention ("enquiries" continuing), early indications are that life will provide me with more opportunities down here that I can access.  In fact, I can say that the move has already proved its worth by introducing me to the local MS Group of which I have become an active member (I could not attend my local group in Yorkshire without a carer, which I do not have) and will be attempting to abseil down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth on their behalf on 3rd June!  (I say "attempt" but, realistically, there is no half measure, once you start, you have to finish...)

    So, all in all, my hope is that as well as seeking support and advice from others from time to time, I might be able to offer some in return - although, obviously, I am not going to compete with the professionals!

    I don't know if this was what you had in mind when you asked the question; perhaps you've got more than you bargained for, but this is me! (Well, part of me...)

    Snowbird
  • AlexAlex Posts: 1,325 Scope community team
    Amazing, thanks so much for sharing. It was really great to read!

    Your comment about the abseil really made me laugh! I hope it goes well. If you have a fundraising page - feel free to share it. Local groups like yours seem so valuable.

    I'm sure your knowledge of disability discrimination would be really valuable to other people on here (like this post: https://community.scope.org.uk/discussion/32890/disability-rights-and-dismissal ) and I hope when you need it, we can provide you with support on any questions around benefits etc.

    Great to meet you!
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