Inspirational West Row teenager behind charity event

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A West Row teenager with cerebal palsy has become a champion for people living with disabilities by organising a charity function to help others.

Courtney Reeve, 19, is working with the Brightstars charity to host a special event that will celebrate all of those who are ‘extra unique’.

The West Suffolk College pupil, who was born with ataxic cerebral palsy, said: “Sometimes, because of the way I talk, people assume that I am incapable.

“I have been bullied and I have suffered from depression because of my cerebral palsy. Those experiences have inspired me to use my voice to show not what people with disabilities can’t do – but what we can.

“My mission is to set the record straight on what it is like to be extra unique and to show that no matter what challenges we face, all of us have a contribution to make in society.

“I want to move beyond the stereotypes and create a celebration of differences which will promote inclusion and self advocacy.”

The Extra Unique event, which will take place in The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on November 5, from 1pm onwards, is open to all ages.

It is hoped people will come along, share their stories, volunteer their time to support others, and become part of a network that will further promote the celebration of people who are ‘extra unique’.

The workshop is being run as a pilot project and has been backed with £800 of locality budget funding from St Edmundsbury Borough councillors Robert Everitt and Clive Springett.

Steve and Paula Turpie who founded Brightstars said: “Our own daughter has a disability and we know only too well what it can be like, the challenges and the prejudice that exist.

“Courtney is an incredible inspiration to us all and we are delighted to be able to support her through this event for the benefit of others.”