Abbie thanks National Star with mini fundraising triathlon

Abbie Smart wanted to give something back to the college which she attended for three years and wasn’t going to let her disability get in her way.

The 21-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, has just completed three years at National Star College in Gloucestershire, a national charity which supports young people with complex disabilities to realise their aspirations.

‘National Star has supported me to develop by making me feel more independent and allowed me to learn how to make my own appropriate choices, whether it’s making a meal, going on a trip or deciding where is safest to cross a road,’ said Abbie.

‘The staff and the college environment has been really helpful and supportive towards me and it has helped me to feel confident.’

To say thank you Abbie decided to do a mini triathlon which included 500 metres of walking using her specialised MeyWalker, one mile of cycling using a specialised trike and swimming 25 lengths (250 metres).

Not only did she complete the challenge in less than the time she planned, but Abbie raised £1,670 for National Star.

‘It was an amazing feeling to complete the challenge and I achieved so much for National Star,’ said Abbie. ‘I hope with the funds I’ve raised I can support National Star to help other students in the future.

‘The hardest part of my fundraising challenge is making people aware of it and get the fundraising up. On the day it was good and I found that I was able to achieve all that I wanted to. I really enjoyed it.’

Abbie is returning home to Essex where she hopes to achieve her dream of becoming independent.

‘I am going home for a bit but I do hope to move on to an independent living or something on my own with carers to support me.’

She said she loved her time away at college.

‘My highlights at National Star are going skiing in Andorra twice. I really enjoyed this as I feel that it made me feel very independent and it let me realise how strong I can be.

‘Also, going to Cornwall for my leavers’ trip was a true insight of how amazing my three years were. All of my lessons and events I have done in college has been wonderful.’

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