It has been a while since I updated everyone on what we are up to and have been up to, so here goes…
As my own personal workload increased around aspects of planning and looking at potential events, general finances which involved costing events and looking at grant funding and more generally engaging with potential corporate partners, marketing and increasing general awareness which involved social media meant that I was frequently overwhelmed with the workload I had created.
Although I fully appreciate the importance of social media in a modern business world it is not something that I feel either comfortable with or sufficiently knowledgeable about to make the best of the opportunities it provides. With all the above in mind, I recruited the help and assistance of long-time acquaintance Steve Swift who owns Client Direction, which is a consultancy business for people struggling to identify and attract the right type of clients for their business and how to scale without burnout due to increased workload.
In the 9 months that I have been working with Steve, he has become much more than someone helping with social media. Against a background of continued battles with my own fatigue, more of which in future blogs, as we came out of lockdown towards the end of 2021, we managed to fit in 3 events, which had long been in the planning.
Our first event in October 2021 saw us take a small group of 8, a mixture of amputees, people with ASD and general mental health issues for a bespoke track day at Thruxton in Hampshire, the fastest circuit in the UK. Not your usual blink and it’s over supercar experience, our attendees got 40 miles of driving on track and way more than the usual 5 minutes and it’s over. What made this even more unique was having our own driving coaches tutoring all attendees in 2 Renault Megane Trophy Cup R’s cars for the whole day.
Our November event was hosted by Porsche GB at their excellent Experience Centre based at the world-famous Silverstone race circuit. On arrival attendees got to view a mixture of modern and classic Porsche race and road cars before moving into the 911 suite, our venue for the day which overlooked the Hanger Straight as various GT cars roar past at seriously high speeds.
The day was a chance for all involved to share their experiences, issues, concerns and successes in their battles with neuro conditions. An excellent 3 course lunch was enjoyed by all, but for many the highlight of the day was the opportunity to experience the outstanding performance of the all-electric Porsche Taycan Turbo S around Porsche’s own Silverstone test circuit.
The final event of the calendar year saw us hosted by our good friends at SimTrack, part of the LNT/Ginetta group for a day of fun activity in their professional race simulator, where attendees attempted to beat the time set by Alisha Palmowski, one of our ambassadors. Attendees were also treated to a tour of the factory and a mindset session from professional mindset coach Danielle Simpson.
Our 2022 events are already underway and our first event of the year saw us return to SimTrack for a stroke survivors event. This event saw 16 stroke survivors get a mindset session from mindset coach Danielle Simpson, sample the professional racing simulator with high-speed passenger laps with a professional racing driver and getting to see the manufacture of racing cars, as part of an extensive factory tour. I was honoured to be able to share my experiences and views of stroke recovery with fellow stroke survivors. The messages of thanks I received after the event were just mind blowing, and in one case have led to one survivor starting their own stroke group.
One of the things that has become clear to me since sharing my journey at our events with others, is not only how little has changed in stroke care, in particular over the last 25 plus years but how, in sharing my story I not only help fill in some of the missing pieces for fellow stroke survivors, but also help and inspire them on their recovery journey.
With that in mind I also plan to introduce a monthly stroke blog to the website that will solely focus on stroke issues. So, if there is something you want to know, ask, or are struggling with then this will be your chance to have input into what the blog looks like and what it covers. I am not a medical professional or have any formal qualifications, so the blog will be based on my own experiences only and solely my views and opinions.
Chequered Flag Motorsport has come a long way since I sat down feeling frustrated at the lack of recognition of stroke recovery. I am now more certain than ever of the need for an independent voice to speak out, share experiences and not be afraid to tell it as it is. To do this while providing exciting and unique opportunities around motorsport is my aim.
Are you ready to join us on the starting grid to facilitate a change in the way neurological conditions are viewed?! Get in touch, your one day starts with day one.