Back in July 2016 myself and the other Whizz-Kidz Ambassadors from Wales launched our regional Get on Board campaign to help make public transport more accessible in our local area.
It is always important to believe in the thing you are campaigning for, and for young wheelchair users like us travel really matters. If public transport is more accessible it will improve our job prospects, improve our independence and allow us to be more spontaneous, doing things at short notice like any non-disabled person would.
We decided that what we really wanted to focus on was getting more training for transport staff so they know how to work better with disabled passengers. Also for me this was quite personal issue; two years ago I was involved in an accident when I was in a black cab. I injured my neck and this all happened because the driver hadn’t clamped my wheelchair in properly. I wouldn't want anyone else going through that, and we all agreed it was important to make changes before someone gets hurt badly.
We thought the best way to get our voices heard was to try to speak with members of the Welsh Assembly, so we set up a petition for people in our communities to sign and then submitted it to the Senedd. They then came back and said they wanted to speak with us about our campaign so we started preparing evidence to present to them about the changes we wanted to make. This was the most challenging part of the campaign but all the ambassadors pulled together and managed to get it done.
On January 31 the big day arrived when we had to present our evidence to Assembly Members Mike Hedges, Gareth Bennett, Janet Finch-Saunders and Neil McEvoy. We showed them a video we had made and discussed what our whole campaign was about. I felt nervous speaking in front of the committee but excited at the same time.
After I gave the evidence I felt happy; it felt like we had taken a big step towards changing public transport in Wales. We now have to wait to hear back from the Assembly Members but there is a lot to do in the meantime! We are already planning how we can expand the campaign and get more transport companies to work with us to help young disabled people feel safer and more comfortable when travelling.