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My confident Natasha

“Confident Conversation” I hear you cry but what is this?

I am already confident, they all answer, and I have a conversation all the time!

Smiling, I try not to roar, no, no, no, please listen, we are talking about something very extraordinary. Not possibly what you are thinking.

This is all about a unique team who had a dream; that day a shooting star shot across the sky guiding them to places you can’t believe. Into the arms of supportive new friends, training courses then began. With help from, the school for Social Entrepreneur’s programme, an idea, sprung to life…..

Never before were suddenly a team….of staff; with backgrounds in nursing and social work: an experienced teacher; a mother of a disabled son, an experienced trainer with lived experience of disability. This to name but a few of their sensational skills.

Then one by one through people they knew and word of mouth students arrived.

Now the Confident Conversation class slowly came to life. But this was no ordinary course I have to say…..!

One for all and all for one; disabled people from the local community, with physical disabilities, invisible disabilities including Autism, auditory or sight problems, health deterioration or a mixture of conditions.

We came for 8 months, meeting but only twice a month, one on a full day, the other just a half. Yet in this short time so much work was achieved, with the foundations firmly set in place to accomplish more. We met in a safe environment, all from different backgrounds and abilities, learned how to socialise, and met new friends. With so much fun, laughter, and jokes it’s sometimes a surprise we ever learned anything. Invited distinctive speakers from local companies to enhance our studies. With the time passing us by, every session we forgot we were learning….

Everyone equal, given a chance to stand on their own two feet, respected as who they are as an individual, given their chance to shine. Looking at their personal attributes and dreams of who they had a passion to talk to. Talking to hospital staff and social care teams about improving care and support for disabled people. Support that respects, listens, and gives the care most needed.

Working with children, talking to the School for social Entrepreneur’s programme students, and CNG staff to name but a few. With the thoughtful supportive staff always on hand, our talks became true, everyone involved took so much pride, and out of each inspiring talk, promoted equality for disabled people in the local community.

Through our speaking, we hope people have taken note, and can see that, we are all the same, and we are all different too. Learned, that it is sometimes okay to be a little apprehensive; we are too, for we are all human. But once the speech has finished, given our audiences the chance to interact with us and ask questions, knowledge shared, new conversations formed, and so the never ending journey has begun.

Sadly we now must say goodbye, for confident conversation class 2017-2018 is coming to an end and we are graduating on 28 March 2018. From a tiny seed, we have bloomed into a tree.

Ready to branch out on our new adventures, however they come and wherever they take us.

But I promise you this it’s not the end but the beginning, for with our hopes and dreams we now have a ready formed team, ready for what ever the future holds…

Please I ask you this; if you know or see a disabled person on your travels don’t be shy. You might be amazed, they might even share the same interests as you, and you may make a true friend.

Help us here at confident conversations and Opening Minds to continue our work. Look at our website and Facebook page, then invite the world to do the same. Any publicity will be gratefully appreciated.

The ambitions are already set, we just need a helping hand to get there.

We also hope to run confident conversation classes again, so we can carry on passing on our knowledge. Helping more people learn, listening to their inspiring stories; so they can make new friends, and learn from each other. So those tiny seeds can grow and gain confidence. Then their never ending story will begin…

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