Disability Sports Ambassador

Geoff Means Business Published under | 9 Comments

The problem with being busy is that I get less chance to up date my Blogs and they end up being mini-novels, illuminated chronicles of life in “Geoff’s World”. I try to keep them filled with items that interest me and reflect my character and humour, in other words, a bit zany and I talk too much..!!  Enjoy the latest.

After a year in the planning, and innumerable hours of hard work by my team (Mike, Dan, Ken and the boys at Slipstream Studios), I’m delighted to announce here, exclusively, the launch of my new commercial enterprise, Geoff Holt Commercial Services. I’ve kept the whole concept a secret as I have wanted to put together a great team and a robust business plan and marketing strategy. So what is it that I’ll be doing? Well, rather than clog up my Blog with marketing blah-blah that will have half of you logging-off in nano-seconds, those with a genuine interest can CLICK HERE to read the press release which is going to be sent out next week.  You can also click the “Visit Geoff’s Commercial Site” link at the top of this page when the mood takes you and explore what I have to offer. Owners / Managers of businesses in particular, please take note.

My website followers in the UK will know that we have just had possibly the warmest, sunniest Easter in years although, as I write, the clouds are gathering, the barometer is falling and heavy rain is forecast for Friday 29th, Royal Wedding Day.  As a family, we decided to spend a week away during the Easter holidays and ended up having one of the best, certainly the most entertaining, and without doubt, the most exhausting holiday in years.  We decided to go on a 4 night break to the Calvert Trust on Exmoor in the SW of England CLICK HERE.  The holiday was all inclusive of food and activities and is marketed as being accessible to all disabilities. The Centre is set high up on the moor, surrounded by fields and overlooking a large reservoir. All the bedrooms were fully accessible (right down to electric hoists and electric beds – much to Tim’s amusement) and we had three hot, home cooked meals a day. But where Calvert Trust comes into its own is through its activities which are, almost without exception, accessible to everyone, meaning it was possible for entire families, ourselves included, to do everything together.  To be honest, beforehand I was sceptical. 25 years in a wheelchair makes you that way. But we were assigned two great instructors for the week, Steve & Barry, aka the “Chuckle Brothers”, and it wasn’t long before I was forced to admit that I was wrong. Apart from hand-cycling which I tried but didn’t have the strength nor muscle-group to do properly, and abseiling which I refused to do for no other reason than it scared the living daylights out of me, apart from those activities, I did everything else; Archery, the Challenge Course, Canoing (yes, canoing), pony trap riding and I even squeezed in a private, 3 hour, fly-fishing lesson at my own expense – no, I didn’t catch anything, but what’s new?  What a fantastic week. It was further helped by being part of such a lovely group of other families, one in particular who had a son with Cerebral Palsey the same age as Tim and they became great friends during the week. I can not recommend the Calvert Trust highly enough. If you are disabled or know someone who is, you really should go and experience it yourself. The only sad aspect, well, for Elaine and Tim anyway, was returning home to find we had 5 chickens. We had 6 when we left. Not sure where she went but our neighbour who looked after them during our absence had a BBQ on Saturday and the chicken was exceptionally tasty.

There will be more information on this in future Blogs / News, but I have another plan running at the moment, Project Cheetah.  Being a bit of a wheelchair accessible powerboat aficionado, I went for a sea trial on a Cheetah 8.5 metre catamaran in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight two weeks ago.  Having had various powerboats over the years, I have long known about, but never experienced first-hand, the legendary sea-handling capabilities of Cheetah catamarans. I was only out for an hour but it was everything I wished for. Having spoken to the manufacturers, Sean & Lucy Strevens, we are looking at a way of financing a boat to take wheelchair users and other disabled people out powerboating. I have written to the various suppliers and have agreed to help find the money to finance the project – with all suppliers providing items free or at cost and if we raise enough money, Project Cheetah could be taking disabled people out on the water on the south coast as early as next Spring and could be providing a viewing platform for disabled people at the Olympic and Paralympic sailing venue in Portland. I’ll keep you updated on progress through the Blog.

To finish, two quick items.  Firstly, thanks to everyone following me on Twitter, I now have more than 1,000 followers (amazing). I’ve now got 850 followers on Facebook and would love to hit 1,000 – if  you haven’t already, could you please follow my Facebook profile (CLICK HERE)

(Tim with a sore throat: he’s feeling a little hoarse – GROAN)

And finally. Hang on a second whilst I climb onto my high horse. OK, here goes. Emmerdale. If you don’t know that Emmerdale is a long-running ITV soap, this should still get your blood boiling, it does mine. There’s a character in Emmerdale called Jackson Walsh. His character was involved in an accident and he is now tetraplegic / quadriplegic – he is paralysed with the same injury as me. It has been leaked that Stuart Blackburn, Series Producer of Emmerdale has decided in the storyline that Jackson Walsh will, with the blessing of his family, seek Assisted Suicide on the basis that his “life is not worth living”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for assisted suicide / euthanasia, whatever you want to call it. But what sort of message does that send out to the hundreds / thousands of people who have spinal injuries each year. It gets me really upset and completely sickens me but makes me furious too. How can a TV screenwriter who has no personal knowledge or understanding of SCI, write a storyline which portrays people with SCI like me, as having no quality of life and facing such a terrible future, the only way out is to kill yourself.  Shame on Stuart Blackburn, shame on Emmerdale and shame on ITV Productions. You can write and vent your dissatisfaction at; Stuart Blackburn Series Producer, EMMERDALE, The London Television Centre, Upper Ground, London SE1 9LT

9 Comments have been made

Marion says:

BBQ chicken indeed Geoff! I hope Elaine doens’t read your blogs, she was quite concerned about the loss of the chicken. Didn’t find out if it was Mrs Doran though!
I hope you’ve contacted Emerdale and told them how wrong they are to promote assisted suicide – how dare they assume that quadraplegics have no quality of life.
Best wishes Marion, M&T.

Cassie Lang says:

Great blog post Geoff!

Nice to read you have been enjoying our part of the country too, glad you had a good Easter.

Good luck with the new project, if there is any way we can help, please let us know :)

Peta Stuart-Hunt says:

Bliss as ever. x

Rob Lott says:

Great to hear you & the family had a good stay with us Geoff, come back & see us soon!

Best of luck with your new venture.

If anyone else would like to come & try the Calvert Trust experience, you can ring us on 01598 763221 for more info.

Mark Paulson says:

Great news Geoff!
We just saw Impossible Dream in The Bight, Norman Island last week, didn’t know if you were aboard and did not want to bothr anywone that was.

Niamh Dennehy says:

Woow, this was such a good holidayy, hope you , tim and elaine are okayy!xxx

Did you know that there is an appeal going on now, to replace an aging Catarmaran boat that takes disabled and able-boded people, around Poole Harbour and Area, It is 20 years old, and gives the disabled a chance to go on a boat and with help sail the boat. Gordon Robbins – Has made a video about it. Gordon has met you he lives in Exeter, Devon.
I’m From Wellingborough Northamptonshire. I have known Gordon through PHAB.
I have followed you for a long time, Good Luck in all you do.
Cheers from Dorcas

Diana says:

I can understand how upset you are losing a chicken when you were on holiday!
I have far too many but they are all very precious to me! Not too the neighbours though!!

Hay little brother! Don’t know how you do it all, I’m so proud of you.

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