Something to warm the cockles of your heart on the first day of December:
In a way, the last two years have been about adding to my CV. Before 2015, and my ataxia diagnosis, it was all Bank of England this, BBC that (oh, and sixteen years in charge of the, now defunct, UK Hotel Network).
This has since been replaced by articles in the Ayrshire Post (twice – I even got my ugly mug on the front page too), the Daily Record, the Sunday Post, STV Online and online title Positively Scottish (as well as press and TV appearances in continental Europe), and countless hundreds of miles walked for charity (Ataxia UK).
Raising £1,100 in the process.
However, this weekend will see the highlight of my awareness-raising/fundraising efforts. I have been invited to take part, with the celebrities, in the Celebrity Relay at Winter Wonderwheels in Windsor. Walking with Susie Rodgers MBE no less (Paralympic gold medal winner in Rio2016). And “competing” against Jonnie Peacock (probably the most-famous disabled guy in the UK at the moment, thanks to his “Strictly” exploits), Adam Hills (the host of Channel 4’s The Last Leg – who *should* be the most-famous disabled guy in the UK at the moment) and a whole slew of other MBEs/CBEs. All of the “great and the good” in the UK disability field at the moment.
Following this though, I will return to Scotland for a 3-month break from my awareness-raising/fundraising efforts. And I’m dreading the cold, having just spent the last two months in Spain, properly thanking the very kind people who supported me during my epic 500-mile walk down the Mediterranean coast of Spain last year (on occasions last year, I would arrive somewhere late at night and have to leave first thing the very next morning, so doing this a year later allowed me to spend a few days with each of my supporters, and to say ‘thank you” properly).
But a return to Scotland for 3 months means a different challenge. Finding somewhere to live. And employment (which is a definite challenge for a 51-year-old guy – and that’s before the progressive disability is taken into account).
Over the years though, and especially in the last two years, I have become something of a social media (over 32,000 followers now) and general marketing whizz. I even managed to get the Ayr rugby team to pose with AtaxiaUK balloons for a team photograph (but my major PR coup to date was getting “Gunnersaurus”, the Arsenal FC mascot, to pose with a couple of balloons, to mark #IAAD2017, inside the Emirates stadium – while 20,000 ticketless FC Koln fans were causing mayhem outside).
So, with my return to Scotland imminent, I am now desperately seeking employment (live-in employment would be best – two birds, one stone & all that jazz) for the next three months. And we’re talking minimum wage employment here. After this time, I plan to tour the most-popular visitor attractions in Europe, and assess their actual accessibility, for a new website that I will subsequently create.
Can anyone help in any way (or, more importantly, can I help anyone/anyone’s business) for the next three months?