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LETTER TO EDITOR: Winning Poem For Revitalise Competition Chosen By Celebs, Shines A Light On Challenges Facing Disabled People And Carers

January 11, 2021

Dear Editor,

I would like to take the opportunity to share with your readers a poem, which was recently selected by our panel of celebrity judges as the winner of the Revitalise 500 competition, which invited disabled people and their carers to describe in under 500 words how life has been for them during the pandemic.

The reason for this is that Britain’s carers are on their knees after nine months of isolation; they have seen their care support abolished and access to vital respite care prohibited. The charity I work for, Revitalise, aims to highlight the highs and lows, the humour and the tears and give people an outlet to share their feelings.

The winner, a poem called ‘Funny, yummy, disabled, single Mummy (a lockdown lament)’ written by Sam Hinton was chosen as the favourite choice and Sam will receive a 7 day respite break at the Revitalise centre of her choice and second and third place have won £250 and £150 Revitalise vouchers respectively, which can be put towards their next Revitalise visit. Excerpts of the top ten entries feature in a new video on Revitalise’s YouTube page.

Funny, Yummy, Disabled Single Mummy (A lockdown lament)

Sometimes disability is hard enough, when you’re tired throughout the day. And working and studying as a single mum leaves little time to play. Especially when you’re on a crutch, and mummified by heat patches. So I thought I’d join a dating site, and check out some new love matches.

And sometimes disability is hard enough, when you’re trying to meet a bloke. Even in this day and age sometimes some men treat you like you’re a joke. I mean, “disability isn’t sexy is it?”, at least that’s what some guys would say. Though I’d beg to differ, in my fancy knickers, I feel relatively ok.

But sometimes disability is hard enough, so when the pools are shut, if you can’t partake in distance sprinting, the government just say “tough luck” What can you do to keep in shape, and keep your pain at bay? When the things you rely on like hydrotherapy are all closed anyway?

And sometimes disability is hard enough, without having to worry about weight gain. For me to have a tidy body is great, since I’m usually miserable with my pain. And of course it shouldn’t matter if we’re different – beautiful in our own design. But online dating is so frustrating, it bores me and I resign

Because sometimes disability is hard enough but when you have to go the extra mile. To make ‘Seductive by the grab rail’, a particular brand of style. “Hypermobile dislocation chic” is something you have to learn work with. And I pay through the nose for self-tan and concealer, ‘cause I bruise like a Granny Smith.

So sometimes disability is hard enough but when your arse gets fatter. Whilst I understand that the size of me shouldn’t even really matter. These little things they do matter to me, my need to look and feel like myself is real. I shouldn’t have to grow a second arse just because of ableist lockdown ideals.

So because my disability is hard enough and I don’t want to be single forever and for me just getting back in shape is a considerable endeavour. Dream man is out there waiting but I don’t feel that sexy when I’m in pain. For goodness sake reopen hydrotherapy so I can get back on the pull again!
 

The winners of the competition were selected by a team of celebrity judges and supporters, including comedian Alexei Sayle, BBC Radio 2 DJ Mark Radcliffe, Paralympic Gold Medalist, David Smith MBE, actor Peter Polycarpou and actress Carol Royle, and excerpts of the top ten feature in a new video on Revitalise’s YouTube page.

Revitalise CEO Jan Tregelles said:


“We were really pleased to receive some genuinely humorous, touching and heartfelt submissions for our Revitalise 500 competition, giving readers a window into the world of disabled people and their carers during the pandemic.

Home carers are amazing, talented people and we’re proud to shine a light on their stories. Congratulations to the winners, we look forward to welcoming you to Revitalise soon.”

To read the entries in full, please go to: https://revitalise.org.uk/blog/ or to show your support for Revitalise, please go to: revitalise.org.uk/donate  
 

Devon Prosser, Revitalise
www.revitalise.org.uk  

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