Carly’s Story

https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/helphomestartmanchester

‘My name is Carly, I am a Marketing professional, Diversity and Inclusion consultant and a retired GB wheelchair racer. I have a son and we live in Manchester with my partner, who is an Electrical Engineer.

I was born 10 weeks early with complications at birth resulting in Cerebral Palsy which impacts my balance, coordination and general mobility.

In 2012,  inspired by London Paralympics, I took up wheelchair racing and it was the start of a 5 year career which saw me become a European 2016 silver medalist, Rio 2016 100m finalist and 2017 World Championship finalist . This part of my life was physically and mentally grueling but a life-altering experience which I am incredibly proud of. I returned to my day job in 2017 and I fell pregnant shortly after. It was planned but as disability isn’t often represented within the pregnancy landscape there is little conversation surrounding disabled mums. With a lack of information I was anxious about how I would manage the day-to-day aspects of childcare and meeting other mums. The practicalities of walking with a baby had always scared me!

The pregnancy itself was relatively straight forward but after my son was born I had extreme anxiety and struggled with the transition of having a career to having a baby. I became more isolated as time went on. I had lost all confidence and as a result I avoided meeting new people or going to new places in case I needed help. An undiagnosed condition post-birth and the dramatic shift in my personal relationships compounded a tough situation into what felt like an impossible one. At this point I spiraled into depression and I was referred to Home-Start Manchester via an intervention service.

The volunteer I was placed with was nothing short of amazing, it was a relief to have someone to talk to and be given a break with the ‘heavy lifting’. She helped me access playgroups and I slowly started to feel better as she was a huge advocate for accepting support and I found the confidence to start medication.  I returned to work when my son was a year old but I’ve stayed involved with Home-Start Manchester as a way of giving back. Please support their fundraising campaign so that they can help other families like mine. Thank you.’

Help us help other families who have been waiting for our support https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/helphomestartmanchester