Jill helps the Government understand MS!
On 11 June 2003, JJ member Jill Lovell from Medway, UK made a presentation to a British Government department about what life is really like when you live with MS.
Jill's presentation to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) came about during the European Year of People with Disabilities.
Jill tells us more...
"The Diversity Action Group approached the MS Trust on behalf of the DWP for a speaker to talk about living with a disability.
"The MS Trust got in touch with me and asked if I would like to be the speaker! (I had previously written a piece on 'wellness' for the MS Trust's 'Open Door' newsletter and this prompted the Trust to approach me about giving the talk.)
"The title of the talk was 'Living with MS'. The MS Trust helped me to get my presentation right by checking what I planned to say for accuracy, and my husband also helped by putting my thoughts together in a Powerpoint presentation.
"I set off for London on 11 June, accompanied by my personal assistant. We both felt very nervous!
"It's a big enough responsibility accompanying a nervous wheelchair-user on a train, without the added stress of having to get to a certain place by a certain time! When we finally reached the DWP offices the disabled entrance was quite hard to find (in the basement, near the rubbish bins!). But at least there was disabled access and a suitably adapted loo. We were greeted with a very nice buffet and a warm welcome.
"Everything went so well, despit my reservations about addressing the people who pay some of my disability benefits! The hosts must have been happy, because I have since been asked to make a further presentation to the Disability Benefits Unit at the DWP!
"I really enjoyed the day out in London. It showed me what I'm still able to achieve, despite my disability."