I was never singled out as different in Guides
Former Guide Nicola tells us how Girlguiding works hard to make sure all girls can be involved, whatever their disability
I loved Guides so much because I wasn't singled out for being different, like I was at school
When I was three-and-a-half I was diagnosed with juvenile chronic arthritis, which limits how far I can walk and has led to double knee and hip replacements.
I wasn't disabled at Guides
But in a sense, I wasn't disabled at Guides. I never felt like my impairment was an issue. Everything was made accessible to me and I was encouraged to try, just like the other Guides were. I loved it so much as I wasn't singled out for being different, like I was at school.
Working towards my Entertainer badge increased my love of drama. Since Guides, I played Miranda in the Paralympics Opening Ceremony and I now run my own theatre company called Twocan, in Gloucestershire, which performs across the UK.
The author Jacqueline Wilson also asked me what it was like growing up with a disability when she was researching her new book Katy - which is inspired by the classic novel What Katy Did. I cried when I saw Jacqueline had dedicated the book to me. You can really see Katy's confidence grow.
My advice is treat all girls the same
My advice to guiding groups is to treat all girls the same and encourage them to come out of their shells. It's important that they help disabled people explore what they can and can't do physically without making it a massive issue. Let them develop opinions but also challenge them, so girls and young women become the confident leaders of tomorrow.
No limits in guiding
How we make sure that Girlguiding is inclusive.
Including all in guiding
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