Disability First marks 25 years
Multi award-winning comedian, writer, performer, presenter Juliette Burton was diagnosed with OCD, acute anxiety, manic depression, bipolar, anorexia, bulimia, compulsive overeating disorder.
She’s experienced psychosis, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, has been a mental health in-patient four times and was sectioned under the mental health act at the age of 17.
She’s now a campaigner on mental health and body confidence and appeared at Blackpool’s Disability First’s 2018 summit,organised by chief executive Alan Reid, a musician and entertainer in his own right.
The applause which followed Juliette’s account of her life, the trolls that plagued her on social media after she held one ‘beach body ready’ “sludge drink” ad campaign to account, and her struggle to be her self – shows Alan’s choice was inspired.
“I’ve loved it,” says Juliette. “It’s been a real privilege to be part of it.
“It’s very life affirming for me too.”
The summit marked 25 years of Disability First - with the big celebration to come in November.
Alan, whose own life changed after a car crash turned his car into a fireball, was one of the first to put disability first in Blackpool back then, campaigning on access, equality and disability rights out of an upstairs office in the town centre.
Today Disability First is based at the Centre for Independent Living on Whitegate Drive, a fully accessible hub for the local disabled, and allied, communities of Blackpool.
“I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved and continue to achieve,” Alan adds. “The fact we’re still here shows we’re doing something right. We certainly know we are needed.”
Call Disability First on (01253) 476450.