Jane Holmes: Thought and effort can make anything possibleBy Hugh Fort
September 06, 2012
Jane Holmes is chief executive of Wokingham-based charity Building for the Future which provides support and activities for disabled children.
She set up the charity after her daughter Kitty was born with severe cerebral palsy.
I've been quiet for a while, but the simple truth is, I just do not have the requisite hour or so to write this blog during the school holidays.
Even on the few days my daughter has been to her Holiday Club, there has been a lot of essential catching up to do, either with work or sorting out the pig-sty at home.
It's full-time care when my daughter is at home.
She needs help with absolutely everything. From communicating, which happily she wants to do all the time, to playing games.
I can write quite quickly, but to express myself properly, I need to really focus.
Having my daughter at home where I can see that she is safe, though, brings with it a peace all of its own.
Whenever she is away from me there exists a constant, low-lying fear that something will happen, as it has before, and that I will not be there.
So summer holidays are hard work, but wonderful at the same time - and looking back, she has had a great time.
The very best thing we did was go on a Guide Camp.
That was a great demonstration how, with a little bit of thought and effort, it is possible to truly include a disabled child in just about everything.
My daughter who cannot even stand independently, went kayaking and even down a zip wire.
Tube fed and with only very limited use of her hands, she was nevertheless on cooking duty, same as everyone else and had to prick holes in the sausages and pull grapes off a bunch, ready for a chocolate fondue. The other girls were all fantastic with her too, including her in everything, treating her as an equal and being true friends.
My gratitude to the Guide Leader is boundless, yet perhaps says as much about the unwillingness of others to make the effort as it does about her willingness to.
So come on world, take an example from this, try that little bit harder and make life an enormous amount better and more fulfilling for disabled people.