Disabled activists share experiences

This Is Me is a group founded by Pete Chapman, military veteran and resident of Stoke Gifford. Pete lives with a degenerative spinal disease that means  he is a wheelchair user.

Pete set up This Is Me as a forum to enable people to talk about disability and to share experiences and stories and form a network. Pete is passionate about supporting others to think positively about disability and set up the group to get people to talk openly about disabilities.

In July, Pete welcomed Dan Biddle to talk about his experience of becoming disabled as a survivor of London’s 7/7 bombing. Dan is the worst injured survivor of the terror attacks in London 2005. At the age of 26, he was a fit and healthy project manager working in the construction field and was incredibly high on life when he heard the news London won the bid for the 2012 Olympics.

Standing next to a suicide bomber on the ill fated tube that had just left Edgware Road Station, Dan had no idea that his world would forever be changed. As a result of the bombing, he lost both legs, an eye, his spleen and had a catalogue of other life threatening injuries.

When Dan realised things would never be the same again, he began to try and turn things around from his hospital bed. 

During his 52-week stay in hospital he underwent 70 operations, and he became a qualified Access Consultant with a growing realisation that the world was not geared up for a disabled person.

Dan constantly demonstrates that, despite horrendous circumstances, it does not have to be the end. He said: “It does not mean that you have to say goodbye to your hopes, dreams and aspirations.”

Dan is a confident, heart-felt, eloquent speaker who inspires admiration and respect in his audience for all that he has overcome and gone on to achieve.

This event is available to watch via the QR code above. The event was made possible by grant funding from South Gloucestershire Council.