Originally from Bonn in Germany I moved to the UK in 1997 and married my husband Michael in 2003. Prior to being a Mum I was working in the hospitality industry, holding various positions within the sales and marketing teams in Frankfurt and London for an American luxury hotel company.
In 2005 our son Nicholas was born prematurely at 30/40 weeks. He spent 5.5 weeks in the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) where he contracted Meningitis. He was doing well but his milestones were significantly delayed and we received a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy Spastic Diplegia at the age of 2.5.
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a brain injury and Nicholas’ CP is affecting his mobility in his legs. He is unable to stand or walk unaided and uses various pieces of equipment from quad sticks to a manual wheelchair with optional power pack add on.
Nicholas received a Statement of Special Educational Needs, which was later transferred to an Education Health and Social Care Plan (EHCP) in line with the SEND Reforms, accessing mainstream education – he is currently working towards his GCSEs.
I started my work in the SEND world as a Befriender for SCOPE, joined the Parent Carer Forum movement first locally in Northants, then regionally for the East Midlands and lately nationally representing the EM at the National Network of Parent Carer Forums influencing government policies.
I met Tracey Liot, the founder of Xtra Potential CIC at Riding for the Disabled (RDA) as both our boys love horses. We quickly discovered our joint passion to improve the lives of disabled people so joining the team at XP seemed a natural fit.
The first year of trading has been challenging (and the global pandemic did not help) but we are proud to have laid a solid foundation to build on.