Another year has gone … how has that happened?! Like every year, I am wondering how it’s got to the point where I am writing the last blog post of the year! As ever, I’d like to thank every single person for their continued support for CP Teens UK this year. Whether you’re a ‘CP Teen’ that uses CP Teens UK services, a parent of a ‘CP Teen’, a friend, family, a donator, a Trustee, a partner organisation, a volunteer, a promoter … thank you so much. Sometimes, running a charity that essentially came from a kitchen table and runs through the help of a small, solid group of family & friends, isn’t the easiest of things (especially when you have many crazy ideas & visions!), but your support makes it possible. A special thanks goes to my Mum, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and Jess, my PA.
2018 has been another successful year for CP Teens UK with yet another fantastic Ball, which for me is always the highlight of the CP Teens UK year! However, the year sadly started on a very low point with the unexpected passing of Andrew, the CP Teens UK RaceRunning Coach. I feel it’s so important to include Andrew in this blog post rounding up 2018 - he was a massive part of my life and he was a CP Teens UK hero. His contributions were recognised at this year’s CP Teens UK Ball with the introduction of the ‘Andrew Longden Hero of Disability Sport’ award. This year, there was only one clear winner, and that was Andrew himself. His award was collected on the night by his son, Ross. The award will be presented at the Ball every year and will recognise sports people (athletes, coaches, volunteers etc.) who display the same qualities and attributes as Andrew did - love, passion, outstanding commitment and a true dedication to improving the lives of disabled people in sport. Nominations for the 2019 award will open soon. Andrew’s passion, dedication and wicked sense of humour will live on in CP Teens UK for many years to come.
Every year, CP Teens UK grows and grows, and 2018 was no exception! The fourth annual Ball in October saw a record number of ‘CP Teens’ attend with 23 young people with Cerebral Palsy/a physical disability in the room amongst 120 friends, family and charity supporters. For the fourth year running, a sparkling and celebratory party took place, full of ‘help, hope, inspiration & friendship’ - and what a party it was! Special Guest, Bailey Matthews, went down a storm and had the whole room laughing - and, of course, we are now all going to #BeMoreBailey! Bailey enjoyed himself and the dancing so much that there were even a few tears when the evening had to come to an end! Make sure you’ve got the date for 2019 in your diaries - SATURDAY 2ND NOVEMBER. Tickets now on sale. Visit the Events page for more information, and purchase tickets here.
(All the photos from the 2018 Ball can be found here and photo booth photos here)
The annual Sponsored Wobble returned and it’s safe to say that it was hot, hot, hot! This was a welcome relief from the ‘Fish & Fizz’ event which was held a few weeks before in snow and ice. The Wobble is a fully accessible 5k walk through Chatsworth Park. Every year we have wheelchairs, RaceRunners, specialised trikes … you name it, it comes on the Wobble! Once again, the Wobble will return in 2019. All information can be found on the Events page. Please register/get sponsorship forms by emailing email@example.com.
(All the photos from the 2018 Sponsored Wobble can be found here)
As well as to connect young people with Cerebral Palsy/similar physical disabilities, I also setup CP Teens UK to provide a voice to young people with Cerebral Palsy/similar physical disabilities. 2018 saw CP Teens UK launch its first ever campaign - ‘Not So Disabled Now’. When Hope, who has Cerebral Palsy, got in touch to suggest a campaign, it was put into action. Hope wanted a campaign that showcased the talents and hobbies of young people with physical disabilities after feeling as if people often see her disability before they see her. As part of the campaign, many different talents and hobbies of young people with Cerebral Palsy/physical disability were showcased, including SCUBA Diving, writing, cycling, modelling and Boccia! Read more about the campaign here. If you’ve got a suggestion for the 2019 campaign, please get in touch!
It is always very rewarding and touching when families/friends choose to raise money for CP Teens UK as a thank you for helping them/their child/their friend. So, when a caravan park chose CP Teens UK as their charity of the year when one of their returning holiday makers told them about how CP Teens UK had helped them, I was really touched! A big thank you to Upper Hurst Farm Caravans & Camping in Derbyshire who presented CP Teens UK with a cheque a couple of weeks ago for £830.00! A big thank you also goes to Yvonne & Paul who have put events on to raise money throughout this year.
This year, CP Teens UK turned 5-years-old … I just do not know where that time has gone?! On CP Teens UK’s 5th birthday, I found myself on a rooftop in central London alongside 99 other people with various disabilities. I somehow found my way onto the power list of ‘Britain’s Most Influential 100 Disabled People’! I still don’t know how I made the list (they were obviously scraping those barrels this year, haha!) but what an honour, and on CP Teens UK’s 5th birthday too!