I’ve remembered I’m a blogger……..AGAIN!!

Well folks……….I’m Back!!!! Thought it was time I wrote something seeing as I’m off university for the summer……… Okay I have like a month left!!!

I’ve had a pretty busy start too 2017 and each month seems to be filled with adventures and amazing opportunities. Over the next few blogs I will aim to summarise January to August 2017 as consisely as I can

But here are a few personal highlights for me

  • I met Max for the 6th, 7th and 8th time
  • I met Gemma for the first time
  • I met Danny Boy twice 
  • Met two little people for the first time – Cameron and Ethan
  • I went too London two weekends in a row
  • I met my Twitter friends Heather and Brittany
  • I got prizes in two The Band fans competitions
  • I passed my Open Uni course with a A!!!!! In my final project
  • I have a BA Open Degree
  • Was on local news!!!!!
  • Had my first official house guest – Nikki 
  • Adventured too Swansea 

Okay okay…..not highlights as such but an overview of what I’ve done the last eight months…..
So over the next two blogs (maybe more) I will explain a little more about the above highlights and lots of other amazing things to happen. After these summary ones I will blog more about dyspraxia and my life in general. So please keep reading my blogs…………….I may, I may do a Vlog in the future (Eeek!, I’ve been watching a lot of Carrie Hope Fletcher and Disney Matt!!) 
Thanks 
Amy 💜

Volunteering – An amazing journey of discovery!

To make the end of Volnteers week I wrote this blog for Strong Young Minds, one of the websites I write my blogs for. So I thought I’d share it with you all. Please feel free to  ask me any questions 😊

I am writing this as Dumfries and Galloway’s Third Sector Young Volunteer and Volunteer of the Year which is so amazing and I still can’t quite believe it.  
But I will take you back to a shy, quiet, unconfident 12 year old Amy who didn’t know quite where she fitted in , in this world! At times didn’t even want to be here and frequently missed school and didn’t have that many friends.
It all changed one evening when my Dad took me to youth group where one of his friends was a youth worked at. From being there as young person I began volunteering at there youth groups for primary school pupils and also a project during the summer holiday.  

It was while I was there as young person I met Tracey who was a youth worker with the local councils Youth Issues Unit. I got involved in both local and national youth projects including YouthBank, Inspector8 and National Conversation and being part of our presentation to COSLA. I won the Ian McAlister bursary award, a local award for my commitment to the voluntary sector. I also won a Young Quality Scot Award for my involvement in our projects and as a peer mentor. By July 2010 I had done over 500 hours voluntary work from starting there in 2005.

In 2011 I attended an event for young disabled people locally to talk about what mattered to us, organised by DG Voice – the Voice of disabled people in my local area. I met Heather who was the Development manager and I was soon welcomed into the organisation and made a director in 2012. Through the years I have been involved in projects with employability, schools and even was a speaker at our conference on End of Life Matters. My main purpose of being a director was to make the organisation more youth friendly and get more young people involved. In fact my role this summer is to look at how we use social media and how we can use it to benefit us more

What you might not realise is that in these years I was volunteering I was also looking after my Dad who had cancer. From 2003 to his passing in 2010 he had three types of cancer and without his wife and my mum there I was the main carer. Volunteering was a way for me to escape from caring and too me but more importantly to find the person I should be. The evening of the presentation of my Ian McAlister bursary will always mean something very special to me as it was the last proper picture of me and my dad.

It was from the feedback of the Youth Matters conference that the foundations of Inspired Communities Enterprise Trust came from. The purpose of ICET is to give young people with additional support needs training and employment opportunities in hospitality and retail. U have been involved right from the start from us getting funding, learning from other cafes, finding the building, finding our builder, all the legal aspects, spreading the word around the community to finally getting the keys almost a year ago. I have been chair of board of directors for just over a year now, it’s a big learning opportunity for me and can be challenging but with my fellow directors and staff team supporting me I know I can do it. Through the wonderful Usual Place – the café where ICET is based – I’ve been able to meet MSPs, MPs, council leaders, professionals and even the First Minister.

Some would ask why I volunteer when I don’t get paid for it. But for me the benefits are more than that. It’s given me such a confidence boost and created so many amazing experiences. It’s made me proud to have dyspraxia and to show the world that just because I have a disability don’t ever underestimate me. I’ve met so many amazing people on this journey from all the youth workers, other young people, professionals and those at higher levels. I’ve truly been able to spread my wings and its influenced every part of my life. Volunteering has always been there for me through my darkest times of my life and has given me something to focus on.

It’s now 2016 and I’m 24 I have been volunteering for over 10 years now. I am confident in who I am. Looking forward to what the future will bring for my career with the knowledge that volunteering has made me stronger.

So if your thinking about volunteering….then DO it!

Being Chair of The Usual Place Board of Directors

I am in my second year as Chair of the Board of Directors of Inspired Communities Trust who are behind The Usual Place Cafe in Dumfries. We are an non for profit distributing social enterprise company. Our aim is too provide training and employment for young people with additional support needs. The board of directors govern the organisation but we are very involved as volunteers in the cafe.

However being chair means I never know what I’m going to be doing next so far I have 

  • Officially opened the building with a speech from the heart
  • Met with MSPs, MPs, Councillors and Council Leaders from Dumfries and Galloway and across Scotland 
  • Spoke to our stakeholders group
  • Spoke to all the visitors we have

No week is ever the same as being chair.

On Tuesday I had a very busy day. I started by helping one of our trainees through their REHIS food hygiene qualification which was enjoyable for me and teaching is a career I want to go into. Then along with Claire our volunteer lead I hosted a group from Finland who were here with a local organisation LEADER who were here to learn about how youth organisations in Dumfries and Galloway engage with our young people. I talked about the journey to get to where we are now and the reasons behind why the Usual Place was born. Then Claire talked about the work we do with our young people and how we work we our trainees. 

It’s always daunting for me to speak to groups that we have in the building but it’s also a pleasure to share our story with other groups. I somewhere in my mind have all the information about the Usual Place and it just comes too the front of my mind. It comes from the heart when I speak about The Usual Place,it’s where I feel at home and can truly be myself. 

In the evening I chaired the Team Meeting. The skill of chairing the meeting is still relatively new to me but I do enjoy the challenge of it. I have been told I’m very good at keeping it focused on what we need too discuss…maybe that’s because I didn’t want to miss my train or maybe it’s just my organisational skills. Next skill to move onto is taking notes of a meeting

I was back in at The Usual Place on Wednesday and as I was waiting for two very special visitors to arrive I started writing this blog.We have Kezia Dugdale, leader of Scottish Labour and Nicola Sturgeon leader of SNP visiting us. 

So the time came to meet Kezia and too say I was nervous was an understatement but as soon as she spoke to me I felt at ease. I introduced her to members of the team and then we went into one of the training rooms to have a conversation. Myself, Callum, Dean, William and Heather all talked about The Usual Place and what it meant to us. Kezia was really interested to listen to what we have achieved in our wonderful building and how we have achieved it. She was also interested in my personal story which too me is key as it showed she valued me being there. After the meeting it was photo opportunities , getting used too that now. Then the chat turned more informal during lunch and I hope to keep in touch with Kezia 

And breatheeeeee it’s time for lunch and relaxing before Nicola this afternoon 

First came in Joan McAlphine, a familiar face to the Usual Place. I then joined Joan outside with Callum, Amy D and Heather to welcome Nicola Sturgeon to our wonderful cafe. Although at the time didn’t realise the camera was filming for border news! So we started our visit with a guided tour of the building, including the stunning cafe space, kitchen, meeting rooms and our very fancy changing places toilet. I’ve been told that Nicola was totally engaged in what I was saying when I was doing my tour which is lovely to hear and very reassuring. As both me and Amy Duffy have met her we found it very easy to talk to her.  After tour it was photo time again! Amy had great fun showing Nicola the coffee machine, it was so lovely too see her smiling with so much joy and pride 🙂 We took the most of the sunny day too have pictures outside before saying goodbye with a hug.

So it’s not everyday that you meet two leaders of political parties but then again it’s not everyone that is chair of an organisation or is priveldged enough to be involved in such a wonderful place. 

I think over the last two days I have grown in a lot more confidence and have more belief in myself. These very influence people really do want too hear my story and the story of The Usual Place.

So I’m looking forward to whatever it brings next as Chair…..

I am also shortlisted for Young Volunteer Award  at the Third Sector local awards 🙂 🙂 

I’ve rembered I have a BLOG, ha! 

Hello there……have you missed me??? It’s been around two months since my last post. I’ve just been caught up with work, uni work, voluntary work to write blogs. Also the very sudden passing of my dear Granny at end of February. 

I’m not saying I’m back yet…….but I will try to start and write some more blogs. I do really enjoy writing my blogs. 

In just over a weeks time I’ll be off to Cardiff too see Max in a musical called Only the Brave along with my bestie Hannah. I totally can’t wait it’s been so long since I saw either of them. It’s going t be one long journey…..plenty of time for blog writing me thinks 😉

Then in April I’m off to Preston and Manchester. In Manchester to go a Dyspraxia Foundation Conference which is so exciting to finally talk to people my age who have Dyspraxia. In Preston I’ll be finally be meeting Nikki, she is one of my longest standing Twitter friends. We’ve been friends for two years now and I totally can’t wait too finally meet her. 

So you may see a blog about my adventures over the coming months 😊

I hope to be back with my insights into Dyspraxia blogs in the summer when I’ve finished uni for the summer. 

So it’s goodbye from me for now 
Amz 💜

Mrs Edna Wright(Gracie) -My Mum 

As most people are celebrating the beginning of the new year, I do too but without the two most important people in my life – my mum and dad! January marks the last memories I have off mum as she died at 10.30am on 19th January 2000. 

It’s amazing what I can remember from being born to the age of eight even now but they are mainly happy memories that make me smile. Some however are not happy…..

Millennium – It’s one in a lifetime opportunity to be alive when a millennium occurs. We were a happy family unit of four (mum, dad, me and my step brother Fraser) I remember the table being moved into the living room from the kitchen and on the table was confetti with 2000 on it. Think we had ham for tea too….we had no idea what would follow. 

18th January 2000 – Mum was unwell she had been for a few days but we thought it was the usual winter cold. I came home from school and did homework with mum including my extra spelling practice she liked to do with me. After that mum decided to have an early night but I said I’d come through before I went to bed….nothing can prepare an eight year old for what they saw(I won’t go into detail) I remember my dad called my granny first and then the ambulance. The ambulance came and then got started helping mum I want to say there was hope but I could see in my dads eyes maybe this wasn’t the case. So my dad went to hospital with mum in the ambulance and I went to my granny and papa’s house. 

19th January 2000 – I came into the living room at my granny’s and my dad was there. He said there is something I need to tell you. I can’t remember his exact words but he told me mum was up in heaven. After that my memory is hazy I suppose I just want to forget the next few months that followed…….bullying and family arguments with me in the middle. 

By the time I reached end of primary six so I was ten years old me and Dad became our own little team working together. I was always a Daddy’s girl from when I was born as my Mum was too scared to bath me of pick me up. Nothing or no one was going too get inbeweteen me and my Dad. As he said “right my name, right my nature” 

It’s taken me a lot of years just to be able to say this too myself and then too others. So posting this on my blog is a really big deal! 

Happy memories are off course there too : making my packed lunch box, helping me with school work, coming into school when I got my pupil of month award, holidays to Blackpool and Scarborgh, Annan Riding of the Marches, last holiday to Strathcylde and Pitlochry,going to see her at work at Victoria Wine….. Plus many more

If anyone has any questions or wants any help if you are going through something similar then please don’t hesitate to contact me on here or Twitter @XxAmyxPopxX
Amy 💜

Double…triple…quadruple check 

If anyone has ever tried to leave somewhere at the same time as me or been out and about with me…you may have noticed something my constant need to keep checking that I’ve got everything. I can take me a few extra minutes just to leave the house. Now for most of my life I just think it’s me being me and over cautious but is it or does my dyspraxic have something to do with it. 

People with dyspraxia have excellent long term memories but their short term memory can be very poor. So maybe I just forget that I’ve put my phone and purse back in my bag or that I did in fact switch the cooker off when I finished using it…..

Leaving the house to go to work or too go out can be the worst once I’m ready and got my coat on etc. I have to double check that 

  • The oven or hob is off – even if I know I haven’t used it
  • The fridge door is shut properly 
  • The taps are off
  • The taps are off in bathroom 
  • My phone or iPad charger is taken out of socket 
  • All lights are switched off
  • That I have actually locked my front door 

Even though when I’ve used the tap I turn it off, or turn light off I an room or close the fridge door 

    I have been in the past known to ask someone to drive back round to my house to check this or even walked back if walking to work … Sorry to those who have had to do this.

    Think this also shows when people tell me things like what our plans will be and unless I write them down or screenshot I can instantly forget them. So I quite often double check plans a lot…..I want to say I am getting a little better?! 

    It does have its frustrations though I can be at work or out and I am constantly thinking too myself that I have switched off cooker or lock the door. I can at these times see my mood drop and I’m mot fully focused what is happening around me.

    I don’t know if this offers an explanation to why I do this but it kind of in a way offers some comfort that it’s just nit me being weird… It would be great to have feedback from other people who have dyspraxia if they do the same. 

    Amy 💜
    Next blog posts – There’s early and then there’s Amy early,my need for organisation…..(probably what the next ones will be) 

    Blogging Madness!!! 

    Well I’ve went from just creating this one on Sunday 3rd January to spread the word about dyspraxia to a blog I wrote for Anti Bullying Pro on my experience of bullying and how I overcame it being published to now also writing one for The Strong Young Minds Project.

    Being Miss Amy Wright Blog

    I have had previous blogs on tumblr but not many people read them and I didn’t post on regulary. Then through reading one of my Twitter followers Emily’s blog on WordPress and that of fellow dyspraxics Natalie and Rosie’s I thought id give it a go…. Little did I know by sharing it on Facebook in particular I would get so much praise for my writing 

    So I am 100% continuing this blog 😊

    Anti Bullying Blog 

    It started as a give it a shot email and ended with me writing a blog for the website of Anti Bullying Pro.An organisation  which forms part of the Diana Award with the purpose of tackling bullying in schools through its ambassador programmes and supporters. I feel in a very privileged position to do this. To share my story and how I have moved on and became the person I am today. If it gives one young person the courage to speak out about bullying or inspires them…well then I have succeeded.

    But you may ask why in the first place did I email. Well I first heard of them as my fave – Max Bowden is a supporter of Anti Bullying. I read his Back 2 School Blog then decided too look further at the organisation. From then I believed in their philosophy and wanted to try and be involved anyway I could.
    Strong Young Minds Project

    I posted the link to my Anti Bullying Blog on Twitter, tagging @AntiBullyingPro and within 10 minutes it had been quoted by Strong Young Minds Project calling it’s followers to read it. They asked me to have a look at their blog posts and if I wanted to contribute. I read a few blog posts including Naomi, Lydia and Anita and was drawn into the posts and wanted to be involved in the blog.

    Simple Young Minds is a Big lottery funded project with the aim of improving the mental health and wellbeing of young people in Herefordshire. They work with young people on issues that can have an adverse affect on their mental health and well being such as bullying, cyber bullying and low self esteem.

    I’m in the process of creating my profile for the page and deciding what I blog about. I’ve also been connected to other bloggers.
    Through all of my blogs I want to help people through problems and educate people to dyspraxia and other issues.

    I hope my blogs make you stop and think for a few moments.

    Thanks

    Amy 💜

    Randomness 

    So far I’ve covered my dyspraxia, The Usual Place, Open University and Team Max. They will be the main sources of my blogs however it will never stop random blogs. They could be like :

    • Musicals I go and see
    • Concerts I go to
    • Books I read ….okay this one is very limited, lol
    • TV shows I watch 
    • Food I cook…….or attempt to cook
    • Visits to see my family 
    • General life questions 
    • And anything I can think off.  

    I can never say when I will post a blog but I do hope to post at least once a week

    So bye for now my blog readers 
    Amy 💜

    Just a little note 

    Heyyyy 😊 Just to say along with my more planned blog post and long blog posts there will be shorter more on the spot ones too.Things that I do, or think or how I go about everyday situations. I suppose it will be these ones that really give you an insight into what it’s like to have dyspraxia and be me. Well at least trying to say how my mind works 🙈
    Today’s posts – Introduction to The Usual Place and being an Open University student 
    Bye for now.

    Amy 💜

    Welcome to my blog

    Heyyyyyy 😊  My name is Amy Victoria Wright, I’m 24 years old and I live in South Scotland. I am not your typical 24 year old you see I have dyspraxia which is a disability and I have also lost both my parents. But I haven’t let this stop me achieving my goals 😀

    Pin this blog I will write about having dyspraxia,how it affects me everyday, being an open university student, being the Chair of Board of Directors of The Usual Place, my adventures around the country, musicals I see and not forgetting being part of Team Max.

    In following posts I will explain a little more about all these things

    So here’s to a happy year of blogging 😊💜