It gives me great pleasure to announce that I’ve become an ambassador for the charity, Scope.
For those of you that don’t know, Scope are the disability equality charity. We won't stop until we achieve a society where all disabled people enjoy equality and fairness. At home. At school. At work. In our communities.
We’re a strong community, of disabled people and non-disabled people, with a shared vision of equality. You can find out more on the Scope website.
Scope has helped me (and others like me) a lot over the years and so it’s a honour for me to be given this role. I hope to be able to help the charity as much as possible and give something back to them. It’s a nice way to end a great year.
The announcement about my ambassador role came at Scope’s Inspirations Dinner, which was held at the beautiful Natural History Museum in London in November. After the announcement, I sat down with Clare Balding to chat about what I meant to me.
Scope is working tirelessly to effectively represent disabled people, particularly the one million disabled children in the UK whose voices need to be represented and heard by government, by the media and by the public.
I hope I can help them with this. It would have made a massive difference to me to have more disabled role models while growing up. And that’s why I would like to see more disabled people being shown on television. Basically, more disabled people being portrayed in a positive light. I’m sick of being part of a group in society who are mostly demonised in the media.That’s exactly why hate crimes against the disabled are on the rise.
The general public need to see that we’re not all just scroungers and benefits cheats, they need to see that disabled people can contribute an awful lot to society, and they need to see that we have a sense of humour just like anyone else.
Programmes like The Last Leg on Channel 4 have paved the way but there’s still a lot that could be done. Only when we see disabled people on our stages and on our screens as much as anyone else will attitudes really change. And only then will disabled people feel fully a part of society.
Of course, success breeds success as well. It would be nice for every disabled child to realise they have the opportunity to do whatever they like when they grow up. But they’ll only believe this if they see other people in a similar situation achieving their goals.
The comedy scene as a whole can play a big part in this. There are some amazing disabled comedians working on the circuit. And comedy is the perfect way to tackle difficult subjects in a way that can make people both laugh AND think at the same time.
I look forward to working with Scope and thank them for this opportunity!