An event to celebrate the winners of a national writing competition for stories and poems penned by inspirational people whose lives have been affected in some way by disabilities has been held on the Southbank in London led by Irwin Mitchell and charity KIDS.
Specialist lawyers at national law firm Irwin Mitchell teamed up with leading disabled children’s charity KIDS to launch a writing competition on World Book Day to encourage people to share their experiences of disability.
The winner’s celebration event saw people gather together at Shakespeare’s Globe on the Southbank in London to launch an illustrated book containing the winning stories and some of the other entries received in the competition which will be sold to raise vital funds for KIDS.
Both Irwin Mitchell and KIDS work on a daily basis with families whose lives are affected by disability and the aim of the competition is to encourage both disabled and non-disabled children and adults to share their personal experiences by telling stories.
Over 80 entries were received and four winners were chosen by a panel of judges including medical experts, a TV script writer and representatives from Irwin Mitchell and KIDS.
Stuart Henderson, Managing Partner of Personal Injury law at Irwin Mitchell, said: “My fellow judges and I were overwhelmed by the stories and poems entered by some truly inspirational people. The entries were beautifully written and gave an astonishing insight to their experiences with either living with a disability or caring for a loved one who is disabled.
“The competition has been an eye-opening experience with so many honest, emotive and insightful stories from people highlighting the struggles that people with disability face on a day-to-day basis.
“Having a disability should not stop from having ambitions and aspirations, whether you are managing a condition you are born with or your disability is something that has developed because of an injury or illness or through an accident. We wanted this competition to highlight the support and services that are available for families.”
KIDS was established in 1970 by John Mulcahy, a teacher who was concerned about the development of a disabled child in one of his classes. John went on to set up KIDS to encourage parents, carers and schools to work together to enable disabled children and young people to develop their skills and abilities and to fulfill their potential, hopes and aspirations.
Caroline Stevens, Chief Executive at KIDS said: “We have been amazed by the level of entries received from people all across the UK wanting to share their stories and experiences with us. Disability touches the lives of so many people and it has been fantastic to read so many positive personal accounts.
“Our aim was to encouraged both disabled and non-disabled children and adults to share their personal experiences of disability or of living with or caring for a disabled person to highlight the support and services on offer across the country.
“Through the work we do with families all across the country, we see firsthand the challenges they face and our work supports disabled children and young people to gain independence, social skills and self confidence. All disabled people and young people have the right to fulfill their ambitions and we are committed to helping them achieve this.”
The published Turning the Page book and special winner illustration posters are available to buy at www.kids.org.uk/shop/turning-the-page. All proceeds will go to the charity KIDS so that they can continue to support disabled children and their families.