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Fighting for Change!

Friday 9 August, 2013
Bournemouth Fixer Chandos Green, 18, held a mini music festival aimed at bringing down barriers between disabled and able bodied people.

Chandos suffered from brain cancer as a small child and, as a result of the operation to remove the tumour, he was unable to regain full use of the left side of his body, leaving him isolated during his early school years.

Working with Fixers, a national charity which supports young people to ‘fix’ any issue they wish, Chandos held an event to bring young people together, showcase their talents and bring down barriers.

Chandos’s Fixers campaign will be the subject of a broadcast on ITV News Meridian on Thursday, August 8 from 6pm.

Chandos said: “My Fixers project is to help bridge the gap between able bodied and disabled people, saying we can work together to build a better community through music.

“I was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of three and it came back at the age of six.

“As a result of my tumour I was left with a weakness down my left side. It has affected my balance, my coordination and I have a limp in my left leg.

“After my operations school was always quite hard. I was kind of pushed to one side and told I couldn’t be friends with other kids or play with them in the playground.

“People saw me as the one who had something wrong and that they were going to catch it or become immediately ill themselves.”

Often hiding his disability, Chandos turned to music as a way of becoming more confident.

He said: “I didn’t want to look like I had a disability so I kind of hid away. I started writing lyrics when I was eleven.

“It has helped me to get through some really like dark days. I’m stronger now and I’m able to build upon my own strengths. For me music is something that everyone can connect with.”

Chandos’ event, called ‘Fighting for Change,’ aimed to provide an equal platform for young people which attracted over 100 guests.

Paraplegic Motorcycle Racer, Simon Thomas attended as a guest speaker.

Simon said: “What Chandos is doing is fantastic. It makes other people with disabilities realise how to go on to achieve stuff, realise their potential while also reminding people we are still people and should be treated like anyone else.”

Chandos is glad his event went well and hopes it has a positive impact on the way people treat each other.

Fixers is a charity which supports thousands of young people across the UK to take action and change things for the better, addressing any issue they feel strongly about.

How each Fixer tackles an issue is up to them – as long as they benefit someone else.

The award-winning Fixers project has already supported around 8,700 young people across the UK to have an authentic voice in their community.

Now, thanks to funding from the Big Lottery, Fixers aims to work with a further 19,000 young people over the next three years.

“Fixers started in 2008 as just an idea… an idea given a voice by some 8,700 young people over the past five years,” says Margo Horsley, Chief Executive of Fixers.

“They have reached thousands of people with their work, on a national stage as well as in and around where they live. They choose the full array of social and health issues facing society today and set about making their mark. Fixers are always courageous and their ideas can be challenging and life-changing, not just for themselves.”

Peter Ainsworth, Big Lottery Fund UK Chair, said: “The Big Lottery Fund is extremely proud to be supporting Fixers to engage with more young people to change things for the better. Fixers has a tremendous potential – one young person’s initial idea can be transformed into reality, spread across a community and make a positive influence on a wide range of people. There are thousands of young people campaigning to make improvements in their neighbourhoods and Fixers provides a platform to highlight their voluntary work and many achievements.”

Two pictures attached. Captions:
Image 1: Chandos Green, 18, from Bournemouth
Image 2: One of the live acts at ‘Fighting for Change’ event

For images, interviews or more information, please contact Jatin Patel in the Fixers Communications Team by email jatin@fixers.org.uk or phone 01962 810970.

There are lots more stories about young people doing great things on the Fixers website, Twitter and Facebook pages:
www.fixers.org.uk
www.twitter.com/FixersUK
www.facebook.com/FixersUK

Notes to editors:

• Fixers started in England in 2008. Now with a £7.2 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund, Fixers is extending into Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. To date, around 8,700 young people across the UK have become Fixers and created more than 1,040 projects.
• The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
• BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since June 2004. The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
• Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £29 billion has now been raised and more than 383,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.




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