GameChangers

BY MITCH COLES

On the weekend, me and my PA’s went all the way to Cheshire to visit the NeuroMuscular Centre to represent Pathfinders. We were there for NMC GameChangers Fest, an event to gear up for their 30th Anniversary next year and highlight the younger generation. The NMC is somewhere I’ve always to visit and I felt lucky to finally get the chance to go there. It was well worth the 3 hour drive. 

I was up, bright eyed by 8am and I started my day by going on my usual Saturday morning quest for bacon. I arrived at 10am and had a lovely welcome from transition worker Lorraine Woolley, who invited us to the event in the first place. I was taken straight to Matthew Lanham, the CEO of the NMC who I had met once before at the Action Duchenne conference, it was great to catch up with him and meet everyone else.

After a few finishing touches for my talk, the speakers got underway after being introduced by Matthew. We got to hear about how the NeuroMuscular Centre came to be, about the early days and how this developed over the years to what we see now. We then got to hear from the “youngens” as they put it, the NMC GameChangers panel and some of their goals for the future. One of the GameChangers, Amy told us about her trip to the top of Snowdonia, which was pretty impressive. Then it was my turn. I spoke about the things I’ve done in my life and how I got here, but it wasn’t about me. It’s about the younger guys who can do it as well. Little did I know I was being live streamed. I really liked what Matthew said when he opened the day, we’ve all done really great things there’s no doubt about that, but at the end of the day we are just normal people doing things that normal people do. With the right attitude and hard work, there’s not much you can’t do.

After the talks were over, there was a workshop on t-shirt tie-dye, a good old fashioned Northern lunch with pie and mash, as well as a FIFA competition. I made my own t-shirt which was probably the best one. I didn’t do FIFA, but my PA lost on my behalf. I had a grand tour of the centre, from the gym to the design and print studio, it was truly awesome. I also filmed a short video, talking about the day. Hopefully this gets put on a beach background like I requested. What a nice bunch of people who are all doing a great job and they made us feel so welcome. I hope I get to visit sometime again soon.