I started working for barclays back in 2007 after an accident that left me disabled, so I could no longer continue to work in the food industry.

After many years working as a cashier I applied for a promotion and my boss said he didn’t see me in that role, he challenged me to become the digital eagle for Leeds as I believed I was destined for something more. Out of sheer grit and stubbornness, I threw myself into doing it and have done so for the past 2 years now. To my amazement my boss was right as being a digital eagle took me to projects that still amaze me and I pushed to do more in the way of helping people with disabilities, be them physical or learning.

I even went as far as approaching the BBC so that we could make a BBC microbit that would allow me to teach people with disabilities, something that awarded me the golden title. I then set up a work experience programme for people that again had disabilities, to great success, proving if you remove the DIS from disability you get ABILITY.

I was then asked to chair the reach group for Barclays world wide that helps it’s staff member who have a physical or medical condition. Along side this I worked on a very small team of people to try and bring the focus of diversity and inclusion to the north. So much focus is placed on London but up north we are forgotten so I’m now working to have more things happen up here and we are doing it in conjunction with PWC.

I have done projects like national access day, completely taking over the branches and even had a flash mob, created by dance students and the participants were all from local charity groups all with physical or medical conditions.

I’m now working on a project to help transgender customers get a better banking experience all across Barclays and writing the training for our staff, teaching them about non binary, transgender and things that people don’t want to ask about but in order to help our customers best, we need to understand our customers.

All of this I do while still being a full time cashier and having had a traumatic time with my family.

I’ve been married for 20 years now, with 2 wonderful daughter’s, but my eldest has had issues over the last year and a bit and has tried to take her own life twice and I myself have had lots of medical issues and am currently awaiting a full radical hysterectomy for those conditions. But even though I’ve had lots of surgeries over the past few years and treatments and spent many hours in family councilling, I’m still trying to show my boss he should of promoted me! But when I was asked to go and speak at the houses of parliament in December about diversity and inclusion, to represent all of Barclays, my boss did tell me that’s why I didn’t promote you, so you can do all of this.

Some of my next projects going forward are to teach in job centres and to do digital and life skills classes with deaf children and adults. Years ago I went to night school to learn to sign so that I can help the deaf customers that come into branch, just because I felt rude writing on paper, it took me 2 years but I did it.

I also write for GLOBI, which was a huge dream of mine to write. It just shows if you have a passion to help others, you don’t stop till you have made as much of a difference so that others join you and you can step back and breathe, I’m still trying to take that breath but I think soon enough I will have made enough of a difference to do that.