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.’
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.
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
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.'