This piece was originally published on Muscular Dystrophy UK’s website on July 20, 2018.
On Thursday July 12 Muscular Dystrophy UK’s Trailblazers celebrated their 10 year Anniversary at the Speakers House. There were about 40 Trailblazers in attendance who have contributed to campaigns over the past 10 years which made for a wonderful event.
The speakers included Tanvi Vyas, the former Trailblazers manager and now MDUK Trustee who spoke about how happy she was to see so many people there to put faces to names from our online network and celebrate the achievements of the past 10 years. Our current Trailblazers manager Lauren West spoke next about some of her favourite campaign success and what is coming up next to the network. Baroness Celia Thomas, a MDUK Trustee, inspired the room when she spoke about the importance of perseverance and the need for loud young disabled voices. The speeches concluded with MDUK CEO Robert Meadowcroft who spoke about how far Trailblazers has come in 10 years.
The event was enjoyed by everyone and gave people the opportunity to meet and be proud of their work in the beautiful Speakers House.
Trailblazer Vivek Gohil said
The Trailblazers 10-year anniversary at the House of Commons was such an incredible empowering event. From such humble beginnings, we have made radical change through the groundwork of our numerous powerful campaigns. It was amazing to see the number of Trailblazers together in the House of Commons, hopefully, we have beaten the record for the most disabled people present. I’m so proud to call myself a Trailblazer, I’ve grown into a strong confident person and I’m thankful for the opportunities provided to me by Trailblazers. I look forward to the bright future of Trailblazers.
Michaela Hollywood, Trailblazers Campaigns Officer and one of the group’s founding members said
Our very first meetings showed me that the true power to make the world more inclusive and accessible was within disabled people themselves.
Trailblazers was a small seed which very quickly took root, and to see a strong network of powerful, confident young disabled people because of something I was involved in back in my late teens is truly humbling.
It was great to see old friends, new friends and to meet some people for the very first time.
I’m so proud of how far we have come, and I know over the next ten years even more great strides will be taken as a team together