To mark World Cerebral Palsy Day yesterday (Wednesday 6 October), Somerset County Council and Chard Town Council lit up two landmark Somerset buildings in green.
County Hall in Taunton and The Guildhall in Chard were illuminated at the request of Nicole Tucker, aged 24, a resident of Chard who works for Somerset County Council as a Young Person’s Champion.
Nicole has cerebral palsy and aims to use this global event to raise awareness across the county.
According to national charity Scope, cerebral palsy affects around 1 in every 400 children in the UK. The name ‘cerebral palsy’ refers to a group of lifelong conditions that affect movement and co-ordination. It’s caused by a problem with the brain that develops before, during or soon after birth. For more information, visit the NHS website here: www.nhs.uk/conditions/cerebral-palsy
Nicole Tucker, Young Person’s Champion at Somerset County Council, said: “I would like to thank Somerset County Council and Chard Town Council for illuminating the buildings. Despite 1 in every 400 children in the UK being affected by cerebral palsy, I don’t think that there is enough awareness of the condition. As an advocate for people with cerebral palsy, I hope we are in some small way helping to spread the word by lighting up the buildings to mark World Cerebral Palsy Day.”
Nicole first started working with Somerset County Council through her participation in ‘The Unstoppables’ forum, a group of young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) aged 13-25 from across Somerset.
The Unstoppables aim, with the support of Somerset County Council, to increase the voice of children and young people with SEND in Somerset. They have used their lived experiences to help local government and services understand what young people with SEND need to be able to live a happy life. The Unstoppables help make many important decisions about funding for groups who support children and young people with SEND in Somerset.
The Unstoppables are currently looking for new recruits. Young people aged 13 to 25, who live in Somerset, have personal experience of living with SEND and want to be involved in improving systems and services for children and young people with SEND should email SENDParticipationTeam@somerset.gov.uk or text, call or WhatsApp 07976 809773.
Cllr Frances Nicholson, Lead Member for Children’s Services at Somerset County Council, said: “I’d like to thank Nicole for asking us to light up County Hall in green to highlight cerebral palsy. It is very important to raise awareness of this condition that affects so many people. I support any opportunity that will encourage people to think and talk about special educational needs and/or disabilities and about how Somerset can be a place where everyone is included, whatever their abilities, needs or challenges”.
Cllr Jason Baker, Mayor of Chard, has known Nicole for many years and would like to thank her for raising awareness of cerebral palsy: “It has been a great pleasure to arrange for the Guildhall to be lit green and I hope that it encourages others to think and talk about better inclusion within our town and wider community.”