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Turning my hobby into a business in 2019

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andyb_fae_dundee
andyb_fae_dundee Community member Posts: 5 Connected

My name is Andrew Batchelor and I am the founder and admin of Dundee Culture. I have several disabilities including cerebral palsy and autism.

I was born with hemiplegia which is a form of cerebral palsy which paralyses one side of your body. I also have several other disabilities which are autism, epilepsy, dyslexia, dyscalculia and anxiety disorder.

My parents we were told that I would never be able to walk or talk yet I defied all expectations.
These disabilities don't define who I am.

To let you know where I am from, I am from Dundee which is a city situated on the
North East coast of Scotland.

Dundee is a changing city, a city that that is on the up and a city that has developed new industries in the 21st century. The V&A Dundee has been a main factor in the growth of Dundee's presence as a national and even an international city.

andrew sat at his desk smiling at camera with dundee culture work on computer screen

I run a social media brand called Dundee Culture which showcases the things that are going on in the city through features, stories, news and events.

I was inspired to start Dundee Culture from my auntie who sadly passed away in 2011. She loved Dundee and she visited many landmarks across the city with us.

I started Dundee Culture in 2013 to help promote Dundee's UK City of Culture bid for 2017 when I was only 12. I started a Facebook page as I thought there was no official bid page but what I didn't realise was that there was a campaign and the official bid team saw my Facebook page. They thought it was a work of a university student.

After finding out about the bid, I was invited to be a young ambassador for the bid team and although Dundee lost the bid to Hull - that was only the beginning.

Due to my involvement with Dundee's bid, I became an ambassador for the city being the youngest named at just age 13.

I became the youngest person in Dundee to hold the Queen
’s Baton ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and was nominated for this after my work with Dundee's City of Culture bid.

With my work with Dundee Culture, I have been named a finalist and have won several awards including winning the Evening Telegraph Community Spirit Award for Young Person of the Year, Inspire Award for Making A Difference to Culture and being named in the top three Year of Young People Champions at the Young Scot Awards in 2018.

I have also been named in several lists including being named as one of ten youngest digital leaders in the UK by Digital Leaders and one of four young people who have ruled the tech world.

Dundee Culture has a presence of over 17,000 combined followers on all social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It has a combined total of 8 million visits on all of those platforms since 2013, with 5 million of those visits being from 2018 alone.

As Dundee Culture is growing exponentially, I look to transform it into a business with the aim of creating an ultimate guide of Dundee by helping promote hotels, restaurants, cafes and other places of interest.

I am getting an office in my back garden where we have an old shed which will be converted to accommodate the new headquarters of Dundee Culture.

I would advise other
disabled young people out there to not stop trying - anything can be achieved if you work hard and put your mind to it. I take one day at a time as the future is unpredictable and nobody knows what is around the corner.

It is all growing for me and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.

Did you enjoy Andrew's story? What are you looking forward to in 2019?

Comments

  • Deb_Alumni
    Deb_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 180 Pioneering
    edited January 2019
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    Yes I did enjoy, what a great story.  Off to check out Dundee Culture now :).  Well done Andrew for your great work and it is wonderful to see you being recognised for your achievements as well.. Keep going and look forward to seeing what you do in 2019.
    Debbie
    Online Community Manager
  • veriterc
    veriterc Community member Posts: 242 Pioneering
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    Andrew - this is so inspirational (sorry - don't blush!)  Do you and others think we could start up a clubfor thse of us working from home on the internet?  
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,665 Disability Gamechanger
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    Thanks so much for sharing @andyb_fae_dundee :)
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • Ails
    Ails Community member Posts: 2,256 Disability Gamechanger
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    A fantastic story, Andrew.  Well done on making Dundee Culture such a success!  Just had a wee look and there is lots of really interesting info about Dundee on there.  I admire the fact that you have worked so hard to make a hobby into a full time job.  Your hard work has obviously paid off.  I have tried a blog in the past which didn't really take off so I gave in with it, but I may now start it up again after hearing your inspiring story!  Thanks.  :smile:
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • andyb_fae_dundee
    andyb_fae_dundee Community member Posts: 5 Connected
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    Thank you very much for all your kind comments and I hope you all enjoyed my story! If you are interested in supporting Dundee Culture as a patron, then check out Dundee Culture's new Patreon page here: https://www.patreon.com/dundeeculture
  • veriterc
    veriterc Community member Posts: 242 Pioneering
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    You did such a good job - so what about starting up a Scope Club for fellow bloggers?
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 12,109 Disability Gamechanger
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    well done young man, you are correct when you say that our disabilities should not define who we are, I hope that going forward you enjoy success in all you do.

    2024 Election won

  • andyb_fae_dundee
    andyb_fae_dundee Community member Posts: 5 Connected
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    veriterc said:
    You did such a good job - so what about starting up a Scope Club for fellow bloggers?
    That would be a great idea. How could we push this forward?
  • marmalade
    marmalade Community member Posts: 69 Pioneering
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    WOW, what an inspiration you are.  good luck with all you do.
  • ChelleM
    ChelleM Community member Posts: 44 Courageous
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    What an amazing story, Well done Andrew, You should be so proud! I’d love to set up my own business and wish you so much success in the future! x
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