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Jessica Starns

Jessica Starns

Name: Jessica Starns
Age: 22
Year of the Fix: 2013
Location: Slough
Campaign: To support people with dyspraxia

I have a developmental disorder called dyspraxia that affects around 5-6% of the population.

 

It's a condition that affects movement and co-ordination and it can cause emotional difficulties.


It can have an impact on a person's education and employment. Those with dyspraxia may also find it a challenge to play sport, drive or even hold a pencil.

 

With the help of Fixers, I want to encourage people to set up effective support networks.

 

I didn't feel there were any groups like this in my local area when I needed them, and after I conducted a survey, I found that people with dyspraxia felt the same across the UK.

 

My plan is to create a booklet to offer young people tips on how to establish support groups where they live.

Here is a list of Fixers helping me with my Fix:

 

Ben Pullen Wright

Bethany Pease

Katrina Smith-Jackson

Kate O'Sullivan
Laura Muntus
Max Muskett
Sam Jones

Dyspraxia UK

Rosaline Van de Weyer, Director of Dyspraxia UK, supports my Fix. She was interviewed for my broadcast piece and has said she will take some of my booklets when they are finished.

 

Maxine Frances Roper, Writer
Maxine supports my project. She participated in a focus group that was filmed for my broadcast piece. She will also be featured in my booklet.

Totko
Totko support my Fix. They held a Twitter chat for me after my broadcast piece was aired on ITV News in November 2013.

June 2014
I’ve won the Dyspraxia Foundation's Matthew Hunt Award for my Fixers campaign.

The annual prize recognises young people aged 12-24 who are considered to have made a significant contribution towards raising awareness of dyspraxia at either a local or national level.

 

In my nomination I was described as ‘worthy of recognition for her hard work and efforts to raise awareness of something so close to her heart.’

 

February 2014

The team at Dyspraxia UK want to print 150 copies of my booklet to use in training.

To accompany my Fixers booklet I have been planning a series of workshops.

The sessions will be for dyspraxics and will focus on topics including interview preparation, cooking, keeping fit and managing finances.

My first workshop was held on Saturday 15th February at Lift in London. Crackerjack Creatives helped us develop our interview skills using drama.

 

Here are a few photos taken on the day:

 

 

 

 

After the workshop I received the following feedback via Twitter.

 

‘Congratulations on your course, it sounded amazing!’

 

‘It was a really helpful experience learning about interviews – thanks to you and Fixers.’

 

Articles about my meeting with MP Fiona Mactaggart appeared in the Slough Express and Burnham Advertiser. Click on the newspaper names to read the stories.

 

January 2014
I contacted Labour MP, Fiona Mactaggart, about my project.

She was so impressed with my campaign that she asked to meet in person. I showed her my finished booklet and she provided the following feedback on my campaign:

 

'Jessica shows how, with a bit of backing, someone with a disability can rise above it. Her booklet and the DVD will encourage others too.

 

'She is telling more people about dyspraxia, a condition that affects co-ordination, spatial awareness and ability to communicate, and is providing practical workshops for people who, like her, are affected.

 

'She told me it was isolating but her campaign will help others to overcome that isolation.

 

'I am really impressed with the Fixers programme which helps young people like Jessica to launch campaigns. It's evidence that young people are not apathetic - they just need a bit of help to make a better world.'

 

 Labour MP Fiona Mactaggart with Fixer Jess Starns

 

November 2013

People have been incredibly supportive of my campaign following my ITV News broadcast. Lots of people have offered to help and my story has even reached America!

 

Here is some of the feedback I have received:

 

'This is wonderful! Thank you for the ambition to support others. We live in the states, Denver, Colorado and my son is 8 with dyspraxia. So glad to see a young lady taking this on!'

 

‘The video has really helped me. I have dyspraxia and I find it hard to do a lot of practical work. People pick on me but I get on with my life and blank out the bullies because they aren’t going to go far in life.’

 

‘It is great that people are becoming aware of dyspraxia. My daughter has it and was diagnosed at 5. She has great support at school and with us at home because she does struggle with normal, everyday things. Please keep on raising awareness and get it out there so it doesn’t have to be such a taboo subject.’

'How amazing Jess - well done. Let me know if you need help with that book!'

 

'This is great, I am trying to meet new people mainly with dyspraxia and set up awareness groups, if you need any case studies or help let me know.'

 

'This is excellent. Aside from there being little known about dyspraxia, it is notoriously difficult to describe and explain. Jessica and her contributors have succeeded in portraying dyspraxic perceptions with grace and humility. There is a great deal more depth to dyspraxia than can be shown by a three minute clip and yet the compilation and tone of this example is superbly set. I'm sure that like myself, dsypraxics from all over can relate to the extraordinary people in this clip. My congratulations and thanks to all involved.'

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