Out and About with Disabilities

Out and About with Disabilities

Cycling round England in an attempt to find permanent work and prove that disabled people are more capable than they're given credit for.

Unfortunately, this project was not successful

I have skills. I have qualifications. I can talk to people. I'm not averse to new challenges. I've served in the Royal Navy and I am proud to have been a support worker in both Merseyside and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Services. I have also done volunteering posts and I am an Assistant Leader with Girl Guiding UK.

Sadly, I can't get past the paper sift in job applications. As soon as the "D-word" is mentioned, your potential employers' eyes glaze over, and you know that you won't be getting a start date from them any time soon.

"Disabled" does not mean "incapable" by any means...

I have variously: asthma, Osteoarthritis, a permanent disclocation of the right ankle, PTSD, and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I live my daily life in acute pain, but I live it anyway to the best of my abilities. Cycling most days helps me with most of my conditions, both physically and mentally.

Remembering the comment that Norman Tebbit made in the eighties about his old man getting on his bike to find work, and inspired by Frederick Alderson's book "England by Bicycle," I intend to take to two wheels to find work- wherever that may be.

All my savings are gone just simply making ends meet, and I've been consistently refused disability benefits that will assist me into work. The only job I can get is a zero-hours contract wrapped in the sweetie wrapper of the word "seasonal." I haven't had any work in this since New Year's Day. I could have written Ken Loach's film "I, Daniel Blake.

Please help me to stick two fingers up at the system and to think outside the box to achieve my goal. Thank you.