A few successes to share…

Firstly let me apologise for my distinct silence for the last month or so! I’ve been busy working on the NCS programme with a team of 11 wonderful young people (NCS is a government funded programme for 16-17 year olds- Google it for more info, I highly recommend it for all young people, people looking for temp jobs and for charities and community organisations to get involved in!) This was my last time working for NCS after 4 years- more on that to come!

This weeks been a busy week exercise-wise! Monday was a 2 mile run whilst battling a cold, Tuesday was bootcamp for the first time after a month away due to the aforementioned work, Wedneaday was a 4 mile run and a swim (I’ve joined a gym!), Thursday was bootcamp and today was a 9 mile run. I am rather achey and looking forward to letting my body rest over the weekend!

But the main things I want to share with you are rather exciting! Since my last blog I’ve had some very good news! I will be graduating Derby uni in November from with a 2:1 in BA (Hons) Working with Young People and Communities (Youth Work) AND I’ve bagged myself a full time Project Manager role for a community/charity cafe that provides training and work opportunities to young adults with disabilities. I have a prior connection with the cafe as I used to volunteer there when I first started at uni and it provided me with a wealth of experience which has got me to where I am today, so I’m super excited to give back in a different way!

And this has all made me think of Joseph more. Joseph began his university journey studying Chemistry at Imperial College London who insisted they could cater to his needs that his liver disease presented. Yet on uprooting his life and taking the step to living independently, it occurred this was not the case and Joseph had to leave his course and come back home. I tried university in Sheffield studying Event Management back in 2011 and I too returned home at Christmas but for entirely different reasons but I remember the feelings of defeat and disappointment in myself I felt and the fear of telling my family; I don’t know if Joseph felt these but I sure hope he didn’t as he clearly had a determination to not be defeated. Joseph went on to study Mathematics with Engineering at the University of Nottingham and they couldn’t have been more wonderful!  They made arrangements for Joseph to sit his exams in hospital when he was physically unable to get to the exam locations. I took my own journey to finish my course too, having took a couple of gap years which helped cement in me what I wanted to study and do with the rest of my life and I’m so proud of what I’ve overcome and how I’ve achieved so highly despite these challenges. I also have a newfound respect for Joseph, I always knew uni was hard but not THAT hard and to do that on top of the other challenges he faced is truly admirable. Unfortunately Joseph passed part way through his second year but my family were invited to a graduation ceremony where my Aunite Elaine (Joseph’s mum) received a posthumous degree of Bachelor of Science with Honours. I remember that day well despite being young and we still have it on video (old school!) Admittedly as a child, the ceremony felt extremely long (sorry Joseph!) but it was made up for by the luxury loos and the sneaky glass of Pimms I had at the reception… (my first Pimms baffled me With its floating fruits!) Well Derby’s graduation ceremony has a lot to live up to in November but I know Joseph will be top of my thoughts as I receive my degree certificate with my family looking on (pray that I don’t fall over please!)

Apologies for the long blog, but we had a lot to catch up on! Oh and my Auntie Elaine won one of the British Liver Trust’s Love Your Liver raffle which she has kindly donated back to our fundraising (link below)- we seem to be taking over this charity! (See photo below along with a couple of Joseph for those who never got the privilege of meeting him)

Until next time, keep loving your liver!

Siobhan 🙂




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