Help reignite the Paralympic flame
WHAT a treat to see Team GB’s Paralympians such as Hannah Cockroft and David Weir competing once more in the Olympic Stadium on National Paralympic Day.
It took me right back to the incredible euphoria of the London 2012 Games.
But three years on, has the Paralympic legacy survived? I work for the charity Revitalise – we run the Jubilee Lodge centre in Chigwell, which provides respite holidays for disabled people and carers.
We did a survey of our guests directly after the 2012 Paralympics and over half told us that they didn’t think the public had a better understanding of the lives of disabled people as a result of the Games. I dread to think what they might say now.
Disabled people have enormous potential. They want to play a part in society, to make a contribution, but all too often they are held back by the negative attitudes of society itself.
The 2012 Paralympics did an enormous amount of good, but until we start thinking in terms of what disabled people can do, not what they can’t, there is little prospect of any lasting change. That’s why events like the Anniversary Games are so important, because they remind us of something that is so often hidden from view.
So I’d like to ask your readers to help us reignite the Paralympic flame. Please join us in calling for a society where disabled people have the same opportunities to pursue their dreams and make a meaningful contribution to their communities as everybody else.
For more information about our vital work or to support Revitalise, visit www.revitalise.org.uk or call 0303 303 0147. COLIN BROOK