Meet our Self Management Awards 2017 inspirational speakers

Section: Self Management and Co-Production HubType: News Item Date Published: 5th October 2017
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We were delighted to have Ashley Davey and Paula McGuire share their self management journey as part of the Self Management Awards Ceremony

At 6pm on Wednesday 4th October 2017 there was be a buzz of nervous anticipation and excitement in the Scottish Parliament. The Self Management Awards 2017 ceremony was starting. On the evening, attendees celebrated six new Self Management Award winners and strengthened the profile of self management.

As part of the ceremony, each year we invite inspirational speakers to share with attendees their own self management journey and this year we were delighted to have Ashley Davey and Paula McGuire take to the stage.

Ashley Davey

Ashley is a 38 year old mother of two from Port Ellen, Isla if Islay.  Ashley has suffered for the last fourteen years with multiple chronic long term conditions.  Ashley’s most resent diagnosis is EDS (Ehlers Danlos Syndrome).

For the last ten years Ashley has been battling with her conditions, trying to get to know herself again and how to live with her conditions.  Four years ago Ashley met up with Claire the Long Term Conditions outreach worker from the Multiple Sclerosis Centre Mid Argyll, Claire started working with Ashley to take control back of her life and to start self managing better.

Ashley’s quality of life has changed in this time, she has stopped worry so much about what may happen in the future and what she can do rather than can’t do.  She has started going out more, meeting others and supporting them with their conditions.  Ashley has wanted to start a support group for a long time and has now successfully achieved this by starting a support group on Islay for other people with long term condition. Ashley now has the confidence to be able to take control of her own condition and live her life again.

Paula McGuire

Trier, speaker, author and, some days, trainee astronaut, Paula McGuire is the world’s least likely adventurer, with the world’s most inspiring adventure story.

For thirty years Paula lived under a rock, somewhere on the outskirts of every social situation, suffering debilitating anxiety that would eventually rob her of even the most basic freedoms. Adventure became Paula’s personal therapy in 2012, when she became Paula Must Try Harder, trying the 17 Commonwealth sports, exposing her to constant risk and enabling her to fight her way back into the world. Ever since, Paula has terrified herself daily in the name of recovery, and now spends all that nervous energy challenging herself to wild exploits and encouraging others to allow a little fear into their days. From life modelling and flying a jet to going shopping on her own, Paula’s adventures have covered the bizarre and the banal, and demonstrate the importance of risk-taking for a healthy – and adventurous – life.

Paula is currently training to attempt the first around-Britain swim next year, despite being terrified of water.

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