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A new look, new ideas and new ambassadors!

It's been a while and I've been a busy bee behind the scenes! You've probably all noticed the fantastic new logo for CP Teens UK, designed by Side by Side Creative in Sheffield. I was so, so impressed at how they looked at the website, picked up it's 'mood' and what it's trying to acheive, and from here, they created the logo! Here is their reasoning for what they designed...

"We read your website/blogs, and the point of having a voice and communication came up a lot. We were inspired by the iPhone message speech bubble, which eventually we altered to have harder edges as the soft, rounded corners felt a little too soft and childish - the hard edge balances with the softer text and colours.

You'll see the CP features a colon, again this was inspired by text speak, so it gives you 2 emotion smileys by flipping the letters. These can then be used as a pattern, or as icons to represent getting in touch/having a voice on the blog etc.'

CP Teens UK also has some new Ambassadors! The applications are coming in a lot thicker and faster than I ever expected! So far, we have the lovely Chloe and Ella, and you can view their brand new, sparkling profiles here! The Ambassadors play a key role in CP Teens UK, here are just a few things they do/are going to do:

- Ambassadors have their own email, so you can contact them for help, advice etc. or just for a chat, they will be happy to help and talk. You might find something on their individual profiles that you can really relate too, e.g. Ella has Left Hemiplegia. Drop them an email, they want to chat too!

- Ambassadors are going to be involved in CP Teens UK's decisions etc. They are independent, individual voices so it's no longer just me making the decisions! I will put forward suggestions (and so will the Ambassadors!) and the 'panel' will speak!

- Ambassadors are active, young voices from people with Cerebral Palsy. They are here to speak up and promote and spread the word about CP Teens UK and Cerebral Palsy. I will also put questions/topics to them which affect young people with Cerebral Palsy/disabilities today, and then I can blog their responses.

Please do keep the applications coming by emailing to ask for an application form.

In the last few weeks, I have been trying to sort out help and support for University in September. I have to say, I had high hopes for it being straight forward ... surely they've been through all of this hundreds of times before with previous students? ... Well, it's turned out to be less than straight forward! I won't go into details otherwise we'll be here for ages, but as with everything else, why do you have to fight for everything?!

Francesca Martinez was on This Morning yesterday, along with Dr Dawn (from Embarrassing Bodies) who has a son with Cerebral Palsy, which I didn't know! They were saying that actually, having the disability isn't even an 'issue'. It's the things that come along in the 'package' alongside the disability such as people's attitudes. I'd be interested to hear other people's University experiences and what you fight for throughout life.

This week, Chloe Tear, a CP Teens UK Ambassador, is the guest blogger! It's well worth a read!...

Labels created by disability

The conditions are merely a label, which I am determined to break the written conventions which surround them. Labels provide a pre-printed view which can often lead to unneeded social stereotyping. We state ‘everyone is different’; yet disability is obsessed with grouping people together. Yes, I know it is used as a means to treat people and in the medical world I believe it works to a certain extent. However, if you take it out of that comfort zone you get hit by reality.

I believe that there is a great deal of awkwardness which spirals around mental and physical disabilities, but why? Scope have recently released ‘End the awkward’ videos on YouTube and I feel that they really do ‘hit the nail on the head’ in explaining that we too are part of the human race and have as much rights and deserve the same amount of respect. I am not saying that the reasons behind this it is because the community is rude, certainly not. There just isn’t enough education out there. I know that it is probably always pushed in your face, yet I still am a part of a world which does not know how to react to a wheelchair. Come on, it’s just a bit of metal with wheels which allows me to get around. Also I’m not saying that wheelchair full/ part time users are the majority but we do exist (4 in my school). You don’t see me staring at your shoes now do you?

Furthermore, if someone wore glasses, I would like to believe that most people get a positive response ‘ohh I love your new glasses’, yet they wear them because they cannot see correctly and need support to do so (as well has been quite a high fashion accessory). Flipping the tables, you don’t seen anyone saying ‘ohh I love your new wheelchair’, yet that is used because I cannot walk correctly and sometimes need support in doing so. Yes, I know what you are thinking, a lot more people wear glasses then people who use wheelchairs, does that make the actions right though? I’m sorry to say but it infuriates me, not the people, just the lack of education which is on offer in a world people like to call equal and promotes equality. Equality may be accomplished with ramps and lifts, but don’t you think people deserve to feel socially included?

Mindful had a petition to try and get mental health as part of the national curriculum and I agree 100%. I feel it is a major issue which is over looked and missed. Just because something is invisible does not mean it is not affecting far too many young people and older people. If educated from a young age it would get rid of the stigma which in turn would get rid of the awkwardness for society but also for the individuals who have these disability and will face the repercussions created by the stigma on a daily basis. Also, I believe that physical health/ disability has its right to gain national curriculum. Personally acceptance is key so if you are able to maximise the number of people who accept people socially the better, right?

At the end of the day, disability labels exist for both positive and negative reasons. However, it does not define the person or limit them. Everyone is unique and different. Disability is also a very small part of the person’s life, despite it possibly having a daily affect. Why not keep it that way? Together people can be educated and get rid of the stigma. Disability is a small part of the person, look past the label and see the person, you might be amazed what you find.

Thank you so much for the read! Please check out my other posts @

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