How Guild Care has helped Susie change her life

My name is Susie Herbert and I live with quadriplegic cerebral palsy and optic nerve atrophy. This has prevented me from doing all the things other people take for granted.

I now find it difficult to think what life was like before I started attending the Fitzalan Howard Centre but I know I was feeling low and unmotivated. I knew I had to do something but wasn’t sure what. I needed somewhere where I could mix with people of a similar ability. I went to see what the centre had to offer and the rest is history.

Coming to Fitzalan has helped my mental health. Now, I have a wide spectrum of friends and I participate in a lot of fun activities.

During Covid, I was still able to interact with people by Zoom. The activity co-ordinator did weekly music quizzes with me, which I really enjoyed but it was really good to come back to the centre. I missed the physical contact.

Susie is doing a sponsored cycle ride throughout November to raise money for Guild Care, which runs the centre

When I first came to Fitzalan I was quite quiet and shy, now I have a lot to say!

I have been able to really improve my physical fitness by using the exercise bike every time I come into the centre . I am up five kilometres and I am doing a sponsored cycle ride throughout November to raise funds for Guild Care, so please think about supporting this worthy cause.

At the centre, I enjoy the cooking sessions and I am interested in learning more about nutrition so I can keep healthy and fit.

One of the best things is that I have been able to start doing things for Guild Care and I have interviewed new staff a few times. I know I am being listened to because when I was doing one interview with the director of fundraising for someone for her team, I put her in a bit of a spot because I didn’t agree with her about who should get the job. She had to go away and think about what I had said.

Susie Howard has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and optic nerve atrophy

I have just become a volunteer at Guild Care and I am going to be involved with the fundraising team.

My parents live in Surrey and they think me coming to Fitzalan has changed my life for the better and they are much happier now, which makes our lives easier.

My ambition is to control my life and have a base, the place where I live, and for the rest of the time to be out in the community working or volunteering. I feel I am already working towards this.

I never thought I would be able to have opportunities like this until I came to the Fitzalan Howard Centre.

Being born with a disability is difficult, however, there are always ways around things and you should never give up. The worst thing about my disability is that people tend to see this before they see me, however, remember there is no greater disability in society than the inability to see a person with a disability as more.

You can support Susie’s November cycle for Guild Care via JustGiving at