Topic:  Beating the odds, and changing the odds – an inspiring real story – Simon Duncan

Resources: You can download Simon’s slides, read our Blog and watch a recording of this Forum:

Session Summary:  Simon’s presentation is a personal view of resilience despite complex adversities.  Born with cerebral palsy and negotiating his way through a mainstream inner London secondary school, he has nevertheless excelled in sport, community citizenship and academic achievement.

In this talk he will give us a picture of what he feels, on reflection, has promoted his resilience. This will include discussing the role of his mother and sister in his life, his own personal development challenges, and how he has taken advantage of support and development opportunities on offer on the way.  He will link his personal perspective to the Resilience Framework, identifying elements of it that he feels particularly important in his own life and will explore his own views on “changing the odds”.

This is a rare opportunity to hear from a young person who has faced challenges that many of us cannot imagine, but has come through and is coming out on top.  Simon recently gave a presentation at a Brighton secondary school which finished exactly on the home time bell but nevertheless the students cheered and hung around to ask questions until the teachers threw them out, so – not to be missed!

Biography:  Twenty three year old Simon Duncan was born with cerebral palsy and has always been a wheelchair user.  After starting his education in “special education” he moved into the mainstream education system.  At 13 he volunteered with, and quickly became Vice Chair of, Lambeth Youth Opportunity Fund (YOF), a grass roots group of young people who set priorities and allocated funding to youth services in their area.  The YOF won national awards and championed equality and diversity through its funding decisions.  Simon is an avid sportsman who has won gold medals at regional and national level for wheelchair track and field sports.  He was one of the first, and the youngest, members of Terrence Higgins’ Trust Young Leaders Board through which he raised awareness and challenged stigma in relation to sexual health and relationships.  At the age of 17 he was named as one of The Metro free newspaper’s “21 under 21” – a group of young people chosen as inspirational role models for London youth.  He recently gained a first class degree from Southampton University despite being in a car accident that left him sick for over a year.

Who might be most interested: This presentation has been prepared to be accessible to people of all ages, needs and abilities.

This session took place on Friday 24 July 2015.

The Resilience Forum is for ANYBODY (with a pulse!) involved with or interested in resilience research!

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