After spending time working at my local youth centre in Dorchester, I began to wonder how much young people understood about disabled people.
I wanted to highlight the challenges faced by those who use a wheelchair or use a guide dog, as well as those with less obvious disabilities such as dyslexia and learning difficulties.
I decided to team up with Fixers to hold disability awareness workshops in schools and colleges – the aim was to enable young people to understand some of the issues and challenges disabled people have to deal with.
I really want to make a difference with the way people of all ages and disabilities interact with one another, overcoming any stereotypes people may have had and ultimately bringing communities together.
The following people helped me with my Fixers project:
Sarah Piercy, former London Wheelchair Marathon champion
I would like to extend my thanks to Sarah who travelled from Exeter to attend my workshop. Sarah abseils, kayaks, swims and has even tried her hand at hang gliding.
She gave an inspiring talk, saying: 'My disability - I don’t let it get in my way. I’ve got an identical twin sister, who is able-bodied. Seeing what I could have been like when I was younger, I found that very difficult, but as I’ve got older I’ve adapted.'
Councillor David Barrett.
Thank you to Councillor David Barrett for supporting my campaign.
Here's what he had to say about my campaign: 'Far too much emphasis is placed on the negative side of young people’s behaviour. We often criticise youngsters, but this is one initiative that has been taken on by a youngster to help other people and make this a better world to live in. Rory deserves all our support, and the community should get behind him 100 per cent.'
I was honoured to receive a certificate from the Dorset Police as part of their Dorset Police’s Teenage Award Scheme. I, along with four others, was awarded for bravery, selflessness and dedication.