Enhance on Conscious TV – The Challenge of Disability

By March 21, 2011Lifestyle, News
Enhance the UK MD Jennie Williams on Conscious TV

Alex: Yes, and I also know that for you, one of your greatest loves in life is music…

Jennie: Very much so.

Alex: …because… and so I’m kind of interested in terms of your own process that knowing over time you’re going to be able to hear less and less of that, and how you live with that in your life?

Jennie: Yes, that’s really interesting. I don’t often… I don’t often get very upset about it, because again, without wanting to sound like some kind of martyr, I have to accept that this is happening to me, and when I do let myself really think about it and think about things I’m not going to hear, like the birds… I know things like people talking on the other side of the room or that, that just doesn’t happen to me anymore, there are certain things I know I just don’t hear know, but the birds in the morning, you know, sometimes I can hear that, and like you say music, so that means I want to go to as many gigs as I possibly can you know now. I love to go to festivals. I probably do have my music up too loud, you know, my mum still tells me off for that, [laughing]…

Rob: inaudible 07.03

Alex: [Laughing]

Jennie: …but at the same time I want to live my life as normally as I can you know, but I want to protect my hearing at the same time, don’t get me wrong. I am conscious of where I go, but yes, it’s just kind of like living the normal life.

Alex: Yes, well I’m going to bring Rob in, in a second as well because I know that your own experience was what really inspired you to set up Enhance in the UK, which is a charity working around disability awareness training and that kind of thing, and that’s how I know you met Rob, and Rob maybe tells us a little bit about your story of how you then ended up in the situation you’re in and how it’s impacted on you.

Rob: I met Jennie like you say through the Enhance thing. It came together that Jennie posted something, I replied to it and it appealed to me as far as Enhance was concerned because it wasn’t just one charity, it was everybody. I mean the idea was you know, Enhance wants to help all different disabilities, it’s not just one part of it, and that appealed to me.

Alex: Yes.

Rob: And I said ‘ok, well I can understand there a correlation between a lot of disabilities that can all be helped in one 07.58 inaudible, so that’s how I came on board. From my side of it, the way I got to this, it wasn’t’ a progressive thing with me; one day I’m leading a life doing whatever everybody else does and that’s going to work and running a business and keeping everybody going and thinking it’s all great…

Alex: Well we spoke on the phone last night and you had more than just a normal life in some ways, I mean you were incredibly busy in what you were doing.

Rob: Yes, I had a very nice life, I mean I used to travel abroad and stuff, I used to travel to the States and bring… import carpet 08.21 from America. I used to turn around and run a building company in this country. Yes, we were doing very well. And then literally one day, I’m on a scaffold tower and it collapsed and everything changed overnight. I didn’t know it was going to change overnight because I went through three spinal operations, so it wasn’t like one day I’m walking around, and then next day I’m not, it…

Alex: So initially you thought it was a temporary thing?

Rob: We were being told by the surgeons in the beginning ‘oh don’t worry; we think we can get you back, we can get you back to normal.’ That in one way, now looking back on it, wasn’t a good thing because they were giving you… I think they were trying to help as much as they could but in one way it gave everyone around me false hope, and even me to a certain extent because I believed that ‘yeah, don’t worry, it’ll all be ok, let’s do the next one,’ so we went through three spinal ops in three years. By the time I came out of it, it was pretty obvious it wasn’t going to get anywhere near to what it should be, and I was going to end up in a worse situation than I was.

Alex: And during that three year period, I mean, how… was it just kind of hanging on to the future or..?

Rob: Hanging onto the past.

Alex: That’s interesting…

Rob: Not the future.

Alex: …and…

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