Time for a blog into the world of Chequered Flag Motorsport. Whilst sitting here pondering what to say, it is Jubilee weekend and the calm before the storm for me and Chequered Flag Motorsport.
As I alluded to in my last blog, there are some exciting things on the horizon for Chequered Flag Motorsport, that I am close to being able to announce once a few details are sorted. So next week sees a big meeting with my good friends at Ginetta in Leeds, catching up with various people including John Galloway of Speed of Sight charity, a wonderful charity that provides driving opportunities for all regardless of disability.
The latter part of the week sees me attending the awards night for ‘National Start Up Awards’ and although I, and others who run social enterprise do not do what we do for personal recognition, it is always good to be acknowledged not only from the point of confirmation that what you are doing is ‘right’ but the additional exposure it brings to the cause that you represent. So, I head north to Newcastle more in hope than expectation and by the time you read this I will know the outcome.
Just returning to life as a stroke survivor for a moment. Next week sees me starting some work / investigation / research / sessions with a private medical company looking into my own post stroke fatigue, why that came back with a renewed vengeance following surgery a few years ago and if there are any links with what is known as fibromyalgia/ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
This is something so important to me and is what, in many ways, brings me into conflict with the wider stroke community. The message that is pushed out by stroke charities and the medical profession is FAST, which is all about recognising the onset of stroke. Important though that message is it gives the message that stroke is a physical condition, whereas it is not, it is a brain injury which shows itself as a lack of physical ability, and the message does little to nothing to help those already impacted by stroke. There is then nothing to either educate people about the neurological impact of their stroke or to help those affected. With the focus then placed upon physical recovery, once a degree of physical ability has returned you are deemed to have ‘recovered’ and are cast back out into society, as I was, with little or no mental support at the time when I feel that you need that support most as you struggle to come to terms with what has happened, your new limitations and to determine your future.
There is no message out there that educates wider society what a stroke is, it is not a physical condition, it is a brain injury and should be regarded and treated as such. It is, therefore, of great importance and interest to me to start delving into this area. I will pass on my experiences in future posts.
Returning to CFM, we will be a common sight over coming weekends of BTCC as we watch our ambassador, Alisha Palmowski, continue her challenge in the Ginetta Junior Championship at Croft. It will also be an opportunity to take in the BTCC round at Oulton Park to catch up with friends.
May saw us returning to the track with one of our ever-popular track days at Thruxton. Despite waking up to unpromising weather we were, once again, blessed by glorious sunshine for an event attended by amputees, stroke survivors and individuals with autism. The feedback we received once again illustrated the benefit of this particular event not only in the immediate benefit it brings but the lasting friendships and community it creates. Take a look at our socials and website if you haven’t seen action from the day, including a group photo with racing driver and TV personality, Tiff Needell, who spared some time to come and chat with us. A big thank you once again to Andrew Franklin and his team at Thruxton Race Circuit.
I can also announce that I have booked my flights for a week in Dubai in November. Not only for a week of winter sun and my first overseas trip in many years, but to see my daughter who lives and works in Dubai and also to take in the Abu Dhabi GP. I had to pass an invite to the Monaco GP a few weeks ago so to have this opportunity is brilliant. Hopefully the way things are shaping up it may be yet another title decider, albeit one with a little less controversy.
Hopefully by the time of my next post I will be in a position to tell you who I have been talking with and the exciting things on the horizon for Chequered Flag Motorsport and to tell you more about my own delving into the neurological impact of stroke.
I also think that I will uncover some myths around stroke, some of which may surprise you, some of which you may never have thought of but above all, it will, hopefully, educate and inform you more about stroke and life as a stroke survivor.