12 Mar 2018

Meet Rachel…

Rachel has been volunteering at the Phab shop from the very beginning. In fact, Rachel was part of the initial brainstorming team that help set up The Phab Shop! Rachel started volunteering at Southend Junior Phab club many years ago and got on board straight away when the idea of the Phab Shop was born.

When you meet Rachel, the first thing you may notice is a quiet and shy woman… don’t let that fool you… behind that quiet, calm exterior is a creative, passionate and determined woman who has the drive to help try and change this world for the better.

Rachel was born with cerebral palsy and she describes it as ‘just taking a bit longer to get the hang of things’. Cerebral palsy hasn’t stopped Rachel from reaching for her dreams, if anything has given her the empathy and drive to help change this world for the better.

With the support of others at the Phab Shop, we want to help Rachel achieve her dreams to show that disability doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Changing peoples perceptions can be a long and difficult task but Rachel has done more than a lot of people, in her kind, quiet and determined way by helping to set up The Phab Shop and setting up Pholk with the support of her twin brother, Adam.

Rachel is an independent, thoughtful and caring woman with dreams of a better society where people all abilities can come together on equal terms. Her drive and passion were behind the setting up of Pholk, a charity for adults of all abilities to come together and have fun without the stigma of disabilities getting in the way.

‘I have cerebral palsy so when I became a young adult there wasn’t much available to me socially. That is why Pholk was created, Pholk was originally founded by myself and my twin brother, Adam. We wanted to give people in a similar situation the opportunity to do the things that people of their age would typically do. I would like Pholk to change people’s perceptions of disabled people and to be seen as equal’. Without Rachel’s drive and passion, Pholk wouldn’t exist and wouldn’t be where it is today!

Since leaving college, Rachel hasn’t been idle, she has sort after and volunteered in different roles, from an admin at an eye clinic to working in a cattery. Despite this, Rachel lacks confidence, she feels that because of her disability, she wouldn’t be able to gain paid employment. Just knowing Rachel, you can see how much she can give to an organisation and how much an organisation can gain from having Rachel as part of the team. She is definitely a great asset to The Phab Shop team!

Rachels disability does mean she does need a little support to achieve her dreams. But working at the Phab Shop has given her more confidence. Even going on to volunteering at another charity shop and taking on tasks quickly and with vigour.

‘Working in the Phab Shop has allowed me to gain different skills that I otherwise might not have. The Phab Shop raises money and awareness for a charity that encourages people of all abilities to integrate with each other’

Rachel is now focussing on her many volunteering roles and developing her role within the Phab shop… hint… look out for some wonderful handmade cards and upcycled items coming soon in the Phab Shop!

Rachel is a person I am proud to call a friend and an extremely valuable member of the Phab Shop team.

Jenny x