News & Events
NCYW Sixth-Form Conference
On Friday 6th March, I had the privilege of attending the annual National Council for Young Women Conference alongside my peers in the Sixth Form from Croydon High and several other local schools. This year’s topic was ‘disABILITY – Great Minds Think Differently’.
As an external pupil having only joined the Sixth Form at Croydon High in September, this was my first time attending a conference of this kind. To say the afternoon was impactful would almost be a disservice to Milla, Mrs Cook, the guest speakers, and all contributing parties – they worked collaboratively to host an enlighteningly progressive and emotionally hard-hitting afternoon.
All the speakers employed a personal approach in their speeches, using anecdotes to relay their messages, promoting inclusivity and raising awareness of the issues affecting those living with disabilities. The issues discussed ranged from those affecting people with visible disabilities to those with unseen disabilities, such as autism.
While every single speaker was moving in their own way, I was particularly struck by Sarah Shannon. Sarah is a quintessential example of resilience, crossing the societal boundaries that restrict those living with disabilities. She has cerebral palsy and, as a result, had slight difficulties communicating with the audience. Despite this, her perseverance in life shone through as she told her story; it was truly gripping and eye opening. I believe I speak for everyone present at the conference when I say that Sarah’s inspirational speech conjured up a newfound appreciation for our loved ones who we can – subconsciously – take for granted.
Overall, the conference was an important opportunity to learn about the prevalent societal issues that face disabled people. I feel that I am capable of better understanding these issues and I am inspired to do my bit to create a more inclusive environment for people with disabilities.