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"Being an *AccessAbility Ambassador has provided me with an engaging means by which to reach out to others taking their first steps in to higher education. I started at the beginning of my second year studying and continued to work on a sustained project - in addition to many other related events - mentoring and supporting college students undertaking preparatory courses prior to their applications to university programmes, two or three days a week, for two years. I worked with my own team of students, watching them grow, and observing my own development, with every session. I have found one of the most rewarding aspects to be, bumping in to students at the uni, in their first year of study, that I have worked with and have the pride in knowing that I helped foster their ambition and realise their dreams. But, the role doesn't just mean listening and offering my perspective, I have also been involved in office based administration work and many other back room activities that support the coordination of the project and help to develop my CV.

In the role, I have spoken directly with families and individuals with disabilities, presenting to prospective students, peers and academic staff, listening and giving my insight from my own personal experience of coming to university and studying, with a disability. My disability is a neurological brain disease, namely Charcoal Marie Tooth (CMT) Disease. The challenge of expressing my disability, gaining the necessary help and ultimately, making sure I have everything I need in life to achieve highly at study whilst living within the halls of residence, has been no mean feat. My acumen has meant that I have been able to understand in practical terms the issues faced by others and, furthermore, relate to the typically unseen and unspoken challenges faced with halls of residence, getting around, and successfully managing study whilst maintaining a fulfilling life socially.

I am continuing as an *AccessAbility whilst studying for my MA in Business. Participating as an *AccessAbility Ambassador became a staple part of my life at university, it not only keeps me focussed and out of trouble, it also offers me the chance to discover the full spectrum of diversity in existence and provides me with the chance to share my journey, to reach out to others - each facing their own unique challenges. Working with a great bunch really makes all of the difference and I constantly meet interesting people that motivate and inspire me. I hope to continue to actively support all of the great work the *AccessAbility Ambassador Team do promoting and facilitating the project and positively effecting the futures of so many people on their way in to higher education. I enjoy life at uni and I want to help others like me to understand how they can attain their future development, in full knowledge of what to expect."

Alan Dudley
BA Hons Business Administration