July 26, 2021

Leisure and Intimacy in Interabled Relationships with Charlie Randall and Georgina Twelftree

Leisure and Intimacy in Interabled Relationships with Charlie Randall and Georgina Twelftree

Charlie Randall and Georgina Twelftree are a couple in an interabled relationship and in this conversation with Martyn they open up about the challenges they face with accessibility and overcoming misconceptions and stereotypes. Charlie has cerebral...


Charlie Randall and Georgina Twelftree are a couple in an interabled relationship and in this conversation with Martyn they open up about the challenges they face with accessibility and overcoming misconceptions and stereotypes. Charlie has cerebral palsy and depends on mobility aids to get around and they have decided to share their experiences and candid, real-life situations to help educate and inform others who are in similar situations. Through their blog, YouTube videos, and social media content, Charlie and Gina are sharing valuable information with the world.

Contact Mai Ling: MLC at mailingchan.com

Contact Martyn: Martyn at martynsibley.com

 

Transcript

Introduction 0.00

In a relationship where there is someone who is able and someone who is disabled, there's that instant thought of what were your his carer that is the instant thought they think, how can this relationship be a two-way street?

 

Martyn 0:20

Welcome to exceptional leaders, where Mai Ling and Martin, where we give you from real access to intimate conversations that are shaping the way the world is supporting disabled people. If it's happening, it's being shared here. I am Martyn,

 

Mai Ling 0:35

And I'm Mai Ling. And today we're going to be chatting about Charlie Randall and Georgina Twelftree, such an interesting conversation, Martin, I'm really excited. And I know that we're going to also be talking about your relationship with Kasha who we all know and love.

 

Martyn 0:50

Absolutely, yeah, it's quite an interesting topic, generally, around disability, and dating and relationships and sex. It's, you know, we're in an innate human desire and we all strive for those kinds of things in our life. But obviously, there are sort of physical personal barriers some people face, but there's definitely a kind of societal stereotype that disabled people can be quite asexual. And that's something I've always had to try and combat and overcome through my life. And you know, growing up and wondering if I'd meet that my soul mate, and the woman of my dreams, and very, very, thankfully,  and fortunately, I met Kasha, 10 years ago, and we've been together 10 years, and we're still not quite married, because COVID put a delay on the wedding. But yeah, I think on a personal level, there's been a lot of interesting areas to navigate around the fact that I have a physical disability and how that affects our relationship, and not just in their head on the sex conversation, but just in the general day to day life, the sort of barriers that that can be that and then when I came across them, they're called squirmy, and grubs who is a different couple to who we're interviewing today. But they're based in the States. And they've they've really opened up this discussion really beautifully. They're on YouTube, if you check out squirmy and grubs (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdomP1JqhnyBQGaBmfDl4KQ), and they really go in deep and open up this sort of topic and this conversation, they've inspired other people. And I think it's fair to say they've been part of the inspiration as to why Charlie and Gina have started their own dialogue and their content around this topic. So we won't go loads of their story now, because obviously, that's in the interview later, but I definitely think it's a it's a very hot topic, a very interesting topic. And also, they're not only talking about relationships, they're talking about fitness and other lifestyle topics. But I think their inter-abled relationship stuff is fascinating.

 

Mai Ling 2:50

Excellent. So this is perfect timing. Because this month, we are celebrating the 31st anniversary of the American Disabilities Act here in the States. And that was very widely celebrated last year, but at least now it's you know, on the calendar and on people's minds. And so I'm really excited to have this episode. So, I think it's very timely. I also want to say that I am I'm very like blushy and kind of immature every time you say sex like ah, but it's been so important and I know that you've also addressed this in your disability horizons online magazine (https://disabilityhorizons.com/) correct?

 

Martyn 3:22

Yeah, it's ever since Srin(Srin Madipalli) and I one of the previous guests on the show. And he and I co founded horizons and obviously later accountable the travel site. And when we started it, we were more talking about the sort of going out to sport, concert, event and, you know, jobs and travel, but we gradually realized there was such a demand and a need to talk about the topic of sex from disabled people and say, what we used to joke if we ever wanted to get the hits up on the number of views is for sex article. Yes. The community ate it up. Yeah, that's a general indictment on human nature, but I think it is, particularly with disability, it's a taboo and actually it needs to be talked about more which we're trying to change.

 

Mai Ling 4:13

Yeah, that is so important, especially to bring out the individual and human side you know of life and that's definitely been something that people like yourself in your relationships on your social media, you know, you've been open with that as much as you can be and like I said, you know, you have people reading could be your, your family, you know, who are going to read your posts and things I'm sure you think of that before you post right.

 

Martyn 4:35

Yeah, I remember more writing on a personal level. Before I met Kashia. We had some quite in depth conversation that even though I'm quite a public figure, she didn't really want our private relationship you know, to be, something that is public and of course I fully respected that but at the same time, it's great that people like Georgina or Gina as she is known everyday and Charlie they are both willing and able to talk about it. And that's a big part of, of changing things. So yeah, I think people are gonna get a lot out of it, whether disabled, and it resonates or whether I hadn't thought about this. And actually, it's quite an educational sort of thought process. So yeah, I think people are going to get a lot out of it. But before we get into that, I was just thinking Mai Ling have there been any other similar guests or topics on exceptional leaders in the past?

 

Mai Ling 5:27

Well, you know, I think about the traditional relationships, you know, where you've been married a long time, and you can finish each other sentences. And that brings to mind Jane and Henry. So for our listener, if you have a chance to look back, it's just been a couple of months, since we interviewed Henry and Jane Evans. And it's just a great, great story about how Jane assists Henry to use a very simple letter board to compose what he wants to say. So, using his eyes, he's looking at different letters, and Jane will say each letter, but she actually knows what word he's trying to spell based on context, of course, and then, you know, just knowing him, and so she's able to be his AAC device, which is incredible. And they just have such a great relationship, and they laugh, and, you know, it's just a wonderful inter abled relationships. So, if you have a chance, and you can scroll back, and listen (https://www.xceptionalleaders.com/being-henry-augmented-reality-experience-with-sarah-berkovich-and-henry-evans/), I think you'll enjoy that one.

 

Martyn 6:18

Yeah, probably gets a clarification that, you know, use the word sex, and as you say, everyone kind of blushes and it, it's a part of a conversation that, that should be more in place with disability, but what you've just explained, it's much more about that side of it, you know, if you're dating, you know, and you need help cutting your food up, or you need help communicating, how do you overcome those kind of barriers, and at the same time, when you've been with someone a long time, like Henry and Jane, those sort of the way they learn to interact and support as yes, it's a beautiful thing to hear about. And it's the kind of lessons other people with disabilities need to be inspired and learn about as well.

 

Mai Ling 6:57

Absolutely. Well, before we get to the show, we just want to remind you that we really would love to hear from you. You can find me at mailingchan.com. And you can find MartynSibley.com And then supporting the podcast, we'd love to hear from you on Facebook, Instagram, and on the xceptionalleaders.com page, you can definitely sign up there and you can get information on any special events or discounts that we have coming or just let us know what you're thinking about the show. So, thank you so much for joining us. And I think you're gonna love this episode.

 

Martyn 7:25 

Let's get to it. I'm really pleased to be back having done interview for a little while and really excited about today's chat with Gina and Charlie or otherwise known as. “Not Quite Politically Correct”. Hello, both. How are you guys doing today?

 

Charlie 7:45

Yeah. Good Good. Busy and tired, as always.

 

Martyn 7:50 

It seems to be the general rhythm as we are getting a bit out of lockdown. But it says kinda, yeah, trying to get back into what it's like to go out a bit more. I don’t know

 

 

Georgina 7:59 

Yeah, how much energy you need to think?

 

Martyn 8:03 

Yeah, absolutely. Well, I mean, feel free, if few of the answers in the beginning to weave in about how you come to know me as well, if that's appropriate. But most of all, for our listeners, it's kind of tell us a bit about NQPC and themselves. And yeah, just kind of set the scene a bit for, for who you are and what you've been getting up to.

 

Charlie 8:21

Okay, so NQPC started as me sort of documenting mostly my fitness journey. And it's one of the big passions of mine is sort of combining disability and fitness because at the time, I didn't really know anyone that was doing anything in the sort of social media sphere with disability and fitness. So, I kind of wanted to break into that.

 

Georgina 8:44

And then I came along and flip the switch. Yeah, yeah, I had always been it's kind of being creative with content, and actually run my own YouTube channel. But it was very much like for me, so it was like random videos and stuff, but that I made for me to just be creative. So when I met Charlie, I was like, well, there's no need for me to do my with Charlie's, there's actually a purpose behind it and a goal behind it. So, I jumped on board. And that's when we started to do a little bit more about lifestyle, a little bit more about how disability affects your lifestyle and how you just have it access, how you conquer different things, your disability that other people find might find really helpful and useful,

 

Charlie 9:26

Think is really interesting to point out. So that's how we actually came to be couple. Gina went to a job, job interview. My friend also went to the same job interview down in Birmingham. They got stuck in interview room together, just started chatting about it. And for some reason, I was the main topic of conversation

 

Georgina 9:45

About being creative, and your friend at the time, did a lot of your videos and editing. And so we were talking about that. And then he was just kind of like he I think you'd get along with him really well. And then he tracked me into it.

 

Martyn 10:04

This is when the interview turns dark.

 

Charlie 10:08

She says this but I'm the one that can't run away.

 

 

Martyn 10:11

Yeah, either way. So, just to woke up a little clarification. So Charlie could give us a little bit or the listeners a little bit more info about your disability, you know, has it been all of your life? How does it affect your day to day? And and also, what point what was that first step into creating content on why you did it.

 

Charlie 10:30

My disability, I've got cerebral palsy. Obviously, with those of you that know cerebral palsy know that there are so many different types variations severities. So mine mainly affects my lower limbs and some of my arm movements and finer manipulation. But in terms of day to day life, I essentially can't walk unaided. So, I use a wheelchair walking frame or any other metal work you can find. To get around in terms of how our ground it just means I've got be, I think outside the box, and use inanimate objects to get around every now and again, in terms of how I stepped in to our chair to get cover where he came from. So, I was born 10 weeks premature. And basically, essentially, I was sent home from the hospital needed a blood transfusion because I didn't have enough white blood cells, they sent me home said Get him settled in and bring him back on the Tuesday for blood transfusion. And on the Sunday night, I went blue on mom's lap. And yeah, unfortunately had to be revived. I think it was seven times. But try not to quote me on that. I don't remember it very well, funny enough. So yeah, it had to be brought round because of the lack of oxygen going into my brain. Obviously, the small part of my brain that controls my balance and those issues explained earlier, sort of shut down and decided it didn't want to play ball. And yeah, sort of Here we are, in terms of what started my sort of social media journey, creator journey. And that all sort of stemmed from I spent a lot of my time from sort of 12 up until about 15, doing competitive swimming, I actually got to quite high level on competing within the Paralympic swimming team. And then so from that, I sort of wanted to document my like fitness journey, and how I sort of went about training, what foods I was eating the genuine sort of fitness stuff, but then combine that with a little bit of disability flare, and also felt that no one was really doing it with a disability. At that time, I didn't know of anyone that was doing it. So, I kind of wanted to just give people that perspective on how they might go about doing it with a disability because it's quite daunting as a type of person going into the gym or going into any kind of fitness really, because you've always got that thing in the back your head that people are looking at you even more than what it's normally they're like for an able bodied person or I sort of assume so yeah, it was just sort of trying to break that down and make people more comfortable. Really cool. Yeah,

 

Martyn 12:58

Thanks for being so candid about the kind of backstory there and he had a disability. So, I didn't, I think interesting around that kind of content creators, if I if now I've got a little bit of an interest in the whole social media stuff and content creation stuff. And you both kind of alluded to the journaling and documenting. So, it was like even Gina you said it was actually when you did your YouTube channel, it was kind of more for yourself. And I know when I started blogging, of course, there was some aspiration that others would read it or watch it and benefit or learn something like take something away from it. But actually, I just found it quite cathartic to kind of share what I was getting up to day to day of life. And so, I think you both kind of mentioned that in a in a brief sense, but you know, it's quite interesting for the listeners to to hear that takeaway.

 

Georgina 13:53

One thing for us is, is we don't have a massive audience. We don't have 1000s of subscribers and millions of followers subscribe. But we get messages quite regularly from someone who is disabled themselves or who has a child with cerebral palsy, ask him for advice or saying that they've they've found something useful in on or really reassuring because they can see, okay, I've been a little bit worried about the perhaps future for my for my son or how he might adapt to things and I can see that was should I worry and, and those that means a lot more than a million subscribers.

 

Charlie 14:33

And it can be quite nice to to be someone's in because I know from obviously when my mum got thrown into that world and I got for him once I passed sort of 18 it can be very daunting and it was quite nice to be that person's like, Encyclopedia of information because I was able to just throw it all at her. And she's like, Oh my god, god. This isn't as bad as we first thought. Oh, yes, but that's also because I've done half the legwork for you but I'm really glad I've been able to do that because Because it was horrible doing it as an individual. So it's quite nice whenever you get that and plus to be able to provide that reassurance from like, first person accounts, particularly like when he's so worried about the child's mental health, how they experienced school, think about it, I can't I can only comment from my experiences, but it's given parents that sort of little bit of reassurance that, yes, it, they might go through struggles, but there are positives that you can take away from it as well. I mean, one of the biggest ones I always say is your disability causes you to mature a lot quicker often. So that way, you've just got sort of your head screwed on a little bit more. And it just helps you battle all those issues that you might face later on in life. But it's just really nice. It's sort of a heartwarming feeling whenever we get worth it as well makes it worth it.

 

Martyn 15:49

So as you sort of said, You've obviously come together and collaborated in terms of the running the Instagram, and you've got YouTube as well haven't you for NQPC. Yeah. So general. So, the content creation building community and the awareness raising, bring it to the relationships, I'd say, when we started disability advisors, that was this general thing about sex always sells I was like, if you try to get their heads up a little bit more on the magazine, you just dropped a little bit about sex. And I think what what said that that's a general view of the human psyche, right? Yeah, disabled or not, that's just an observation. But I think actually with disability, there is a reason it's so sought after. And it's because it's still I mean, when I when we did the eight side, 10 years ago, it just wasn't being spoke about by the charities and by, I guess, some of those more traditional parts of the disability world. And even now, it's still quite taboo. So, you know just give us a little bit of that kind of, you know, don't need into warts and all. But just how it's been to speak publicly about having what I think it's become known as an inter abled relationship.

 

Georgina 17:03

Yeah, well, there's definitely no warts.

 

Charlie 17:08

Like you say, I think the interesting thing whenever you talk about an inter abled relationship, or any sort of relationship that involves disabled individuals is it's such a intriguing concept, almost anyone, like I've been in pubs previously, and straight off the bat. Some blokes like to tell me about your sex life. How does that work? And I am like, Hello?

 

Georgina 17:30

Yeah, I think overall, in a relationship where there is someone who is abled, and someone who is disabled, more, so physically, there's that instant thought of like when you're his carer, or you're their carer, and that is the instant thought they think, how can this relationship be a two way street? If she in my in our case, she is caring for him? And it's like, well, that's just that's just part and parcel of any one as a couple cares for me, but not in the same way. And people think, Oh, no, but you care more? No, I care. That is part of my caring that part of our caring relationship, in a in a normal term, not in a, you know, in any relationship. If you know what I mean,

 

Martyn 18:19

Yeah, the way

 

Charlie 18:21

I think the biggest regret that with me is I often get the sensation that I'm like the booby prize. And that can be quite hard. I mean, it's, I've been asked as well, like, dating is very difficult with disability because you, you get so many knock backs. I mean, as anyone does, but with me it is really obviously that's more heightened, because you've got to get around the hurdle of, yeah, this is me, this is my wheelchair. And people don't really know how to react to that. So, it's getting around that. But then also, you can only be told so many times no, before your confidence starts falling, and then it really, really hard to drag it back up. And I think that's another interesting part of it. It's just people don't understand it. And because they don't understand that they often shy away from it. Yeah. So, we try and bring our relationship into our content just to say, look, it's not that weird.

 

Martyn 19:17

Yeah. I think it's actually quite normal.

 

Georgina 19:21

Yeah and in terms of the kind of sex conversation, we found it straight away. We already knew that that was a hot topic. It is a is a bombshell. You know, it's been really well. Yeah, I mean, our most popular video is called How do disabled people have sex, in which we don't answer the question. Oh, we read the questions at the end of like a q&a video. And I think we said that. It's, I think you just said, Oh, I'm lazy or made a joke like that. So then, more recently, we actually answered that question and spoke a bit more personally about how we approached sex. And how, you know, people approach that question. And if you're someone who is disabled, and you haven't had sex, yet, you haven't been in a personal, intimate relationship, and you are worried about that, then how you how we can reassure you or you can be reassured that, you know, it's not, it's difficult for anyone, and it's scary for anyone. Actually, it's just about being patient, honest, and, you know, testing the water with things, and being comfortable with your partner. In that sense, I think there's an app video hasn't done as well, which is hilarious, because that actually answers question that everybody wanted.

 

Charlie 20:40

But I think as well as that whole, there's an element, particularly for the disabled individual, there's an element of like that one, as for anyone, to be fair, but there's that extra vulnerability with a disability because that for me personally, like, My legs are tidy. And I was called to see like, Oh, my legs are tidy. Like, I've always had body shapes. I'm like, my friend once described me as a tube of toothpaste. Because I'm really chunky on top, and then you get smaller and smaller as you get to the bottom.

 

Mai Ling 21:11 (PODCAST ADVERSTISEMENT)

I've always said the most valuable things I've ever done to increase my business and industry knowledge in a very specific niche of disabilities was always related to learning from other people, whether it was going to conferences, introducing myself and connecting directly with LinkedIn messages, or asking people for a warm referral, hearing other people's stories, and finding pearls of wisdom has been a priceless part of my journey. And ultimately, my success with various offerings is directly related to these. That's definitely why I created this podcast for you. And also why 13 other amazing disability leaders and previous podcast guests join me to write a book for you, for less than $15. So you can get intimate stories and priceless startup journeys from 14 exceptional disability leaders, including my co host of this podcast, Martin Sibley. So I invite you to go to Amazon search for becoming an exceptional leader and get this book today. (https://www.amazon.com/-/es/Mai-Ling-Chan-ebook/dp/B08DWWW8X9). Now, let's get back to our amazing interview.

 

Martyn 22:05

Glad, what we've already touched upon, as it's been, I guess, the kind of exercise fitness part, you know, theme topic, we're going to call it, there's the sex and relationship part. And I guess in essence, as you've done more content become more public, you've been asked more questions by different people. And therefore you started to speak about and create content about other topics as well. So, I know, one of the other things we're going to touch on today was a sort of leisure, the kind of for the fat disabled people, like you said, disabled people have sex, who knew, but also disabled people go and get drunk in a bar or disabled people go on holiday. So, it'd be great to hear a bit more about your kind of experience and why you want to raise awareness on that topic as well.

 

Charlie 22:51

I think particularly with the holiday one must be I've been very fortunate. When I was young, both both my parents are self employed had both successful businesses. And because of that, I got to do a lot of traveling as a kid and it kind of got me that bug, I always want to go somewhere new always want to explore. And obviously there's hurdles with that, that come with a disability, there's so much research that has to go into it, particularly obviously, you got the language barrier, often times, which is often really difficult to try and explain what your actual needs are to something like a hotel. So, it was that idea of bringing it all together so that people eventually start talking about access a bit more, particularly when traveling in foreign countries and just making it so that information is readily available, because why should your disability stop you from traveling and doing something that you enjoy doing? So, we try and whenever we go traveling somewhere new, it can be anywhere from Manchester, to Spain to Germany later this year. And we just try and document it just to show how accessible that area is. And what

 

Georgina 24:00

I've seen, I think, as well anywhere you go, you kind of look up where's the best places to go? What is there to do in this place and all that and it's kind of putting that content out there for someone who is disabled and has to have extra considerations for that. And I think you know, we value that source. And we know others will value that source so we can put our own spin on it and give extra information to what is already out there from other travel bloggers because it doesn't come from websites. It doesn't come from very rarely it comes from the hotel website or the visitor website. It will come from a blogger or someone. who's actually been there and experienced it and everyone's experience is different. So adding to that is or intent?

 

Martyn 24:49

Is quite a challenge isn't it? I know from experience where I've gone somewhere blogged about someone quite similar disability to me has gone Oh wicked Martyn went there and I am gonna go there then they've gone and said, Oh, it wasn't actually as suitable for me. So there's that. Just as a general point, it's that kind of all you can do, all we can do as individuals is share our personal story. And then others obviously still have to do the double checking that it is suitable for that. But I've learned that the hard way that you have to kind of caveat, this is one experience currently.

 

Georgina 25:25

Yeah, that's one of those places for us last year was Edinburgh, we found it so inaccessible.

 

Charlie 25:34

Although some of it was just bad planning.

 

Georgina 25:37

So a lot of it was bad planning on our part, it rained the whole time. And everyone talks about Edinburgh as this magical place, and we just didn't get that. And it was like, did we not do the right things? Did we not experience it right?. But then that's, that was just our experience. And we shared it, honestly. Exactly. That was our experience.

 

Charlie 25:54

Mean, part of that. Now, I'm a lot more equipped for it, I've gone out and bought one of the electrical attachments for my manual wheelchair, which is a massive help whenever traveling around somewhere that’s hilly or awkward. But whereas at that time we ended up because I've gone to festivals for rented electric wheelchairs or for all it's only in Scotland, should be able to do that. All I could get was a mobility scooter and never realized how big those things.

 

Georgina 26:19

You can't like get them in shops, you couldn't get them anywhere because Edinburg is so quaint can get in the shops can't get it in any of the restaurants and you can take it on the tram

 

Charlie 26:29

Which I didn't know. I didn’t know you need a permit to take anything, anything over a certain size or weight on a on a train or a bus. Because I found that it's here it's in it's in the EU. It's in England as well.

 

Georgina 26:43

Yeah, we weren’t aware of, we weren't until we picked it up, which was too late.

 

Martyn 26:48

Was even when you are document and as we were saying earlier on, about things that go wrong. It's still interesting, but it's still helpful to people as well.

 

Charlie 26:59

Touch on the comment about going to pubs, clubs and restaurants. Again, one of my big big interest is I am massive foodie, that kind of links in with the travel things most of time. I travel for the food, not the sun. Have you seen us? I mean, the viewers can't see me. I'm pale as anything. Both of us are and we do need the sun, so it came from that. And I noticed, particularly when I was 18 or 19. So I wanted to go to particularly clubs, but they are the most inaccessible things on the planet.

 

Georgina 27:33

They're also the most, like pointlessly inaccessible things. To be fair, I had thought about it, but not properly when I'd been clubbing in in Birmingham. And there's one club that's the main club in Birmingham. And it's up a flight of stairs. And then once you're inside, it's like there's random stairs. But when you think about it, there's no need for them. Or they could just not be there. It could all be on one level. random thing and then thinking back to other clubs I've been to I'm not actually Yeah, why do clubs just have stairs in random places.

 

Martyn 28:06

Particularly where people are drunk, right? Not even about people with a disability, it's like, surely that's just a trip hazard for drunk people.

 

Georgina 28:14

A lot of clubs are apparently like that, fair enough if it's upstairs, but then have a lift. But then once you're in, it's like, oh, we're just going to put some stairs up to the bar for no reason. You could put the bar on the same level, we could put a ramp in, but we're just going to put it upstairs to make it different.

 

Charlie 28:28

Even better. We could just put a ramp because you know, able bodied people can walk up ramps. Yeah, that's my biggest bugbear I just put on even level.

 

Martyn 28:37

Benefits everyone doesn't. So got a couple of sort of quick four, I've got a couple of minutes left. I guess the first one was around, regardless of the topic, but like the audience of kind of disabled people and non disabled people, if you've got just a couple of thoughts on the kind of things that disabled people are interested in looking for versus what people that come across your content, almost have had no experience or contact with disabled people just to get it just get a couple of thoughts on both those kind of audiences. And the difference,

 

Georgina 29:21

I'd say from our experience, so people with disabilities want to see something they can relate to, they want to see something that they can kind of be comfortable with and go oh, I understand that. Or, oh, now I've seen that I am more comfortable with it.

 

Martyn 29:27

Do you think there's something about role models there as well?

 

Charlie 29:31

Yeah, particularly, we touched on it earlier, particularly with moms and younger type people it's quite nice that I almost get see now as this role model. Obviously I'm not perfect, but I've done quite a lot of stuff and live quite a normal quotation marks life and it's quite nice, I think for parents and people of that ilk to see to see that happen because it opens their eyes to in terms of what able bodied people come and try and find with my channel. I think its an education

 

Georgina 29:59

Yeah, it an education really isn't it? And we say a lot, that, although it can be frustrating when an able bodied person doesn't approach the situation, or you as a disabled person properly, it comes from that naivety and that and inexperience. So actually, if they can come across your content, and yeah, they might ask a stupid question, but it's because they've never come across it before. But that just leads to a whole conversation about representation and media, which I think we could go on about.

 

Charlie 30:33

Good point to make is that we always well, we always with our content, try and make it a very open and friendly conversation. Should I mean, you've seen it in this interview, hopefully, I'm quite candid about my disability. And I want to make that fun and friendly conversation, because my biggest worry is that we're going down a path with some community of able bodied people are now becoming fearful of asking questions, and worried of offending someone. I mean, I even had one that was worried I was going to throw a court case at them and I might, No you just ask the question. It's all right. So, I think it's just approaching that friendly conversation as opposed to sort of attacking each other.

 

Martyn 31:11

Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. And the other last thought really was around the future. I guess there's a lot you could be talking about. I'm pointing it more towards the kind of Instagram YouTube content and community stuff. I mean, feel free to throw out any other general plans you've got. Yeah, I guess when you talk about the fitness side that began the whole initiative, are there any sort of entrepreneurial ideas bumbling around under the surface?

 

Charlie 31:40

Yeah, so the big ones like say the being a role model to people I really liked sort of the influence of space. But the big big picture was always to burn a disability friendly gym, to try and break down that the uncomfortableness and that anxiousness about going to the gym as a disabled individual. But while also providing the right support for a disabled individual, cuz I think the hardest thing is you get given someone to work with to train with that you might be given a different person in a different day. And that has a huge impact because they don't understand your condition. Whereas if you can have an allocated one or two people, then they understand your condition and can work with you to develop what your goals and what you want to achieve is. So, I in an ideal world, we do we want to go more down the route of opening our gym and sort of developing that sphere and working more in the fitness sphere. Hopefully, it's just trying to map out that idea and get the connections going in terms of where do we start the building process?

 

Martyn 32:42

Yeah, and I think you know, to be where you are with the content and the building the community and like getting BBC, you know, interest about you and Gina and both of your stories. And I think that's all part of the journey. And I you know, for my story day, like, there were a lot of years of just laying that groundwork, and then over time, the business stuff starts to kind of kick in a little bit more and you get more confident and get more clear on what the different opportunities are really. But I think where you are is a really good point. And you're getting some paid influencer work as well.

 

Charlie 33:18

Yeah, so we've worked with yourself mine for a while go. We've worked with project like natural rail, we've worked with a VB C, we've done some cool stuff. We try and me and Gina try and make a habit of looking back, particularly each new year, we look back all the stuff we managed to achieve and actually go actually, that was quite cool. So it's quite nice to do that. And I try and do that too. So show us that we are we're heading in the right direction. We just got to keep pushing

 

Georgina 33:44

Us I think representation in media is a big thing. And if we can be a part of that even through just influencer campaigns, it's a very important thing for us and I think an important thing for the future.

 

Martyn 33:55

Yeah, that sounds great. Cool, but I think Mic drop there from Gina. We're gonna we're gonna wrap the interview. Unless there's any final words you wanted to say but otherwise, what why the title, why the name? Is there a story of why you've called it that?

 

Charlie 34:11

The name is a bit weird. So actually, the name came from one of my teaching assistants in school. Shout out to Mrs. Bassett.

 

Martyn 34:20

Big up Mrs. Bassett.

 

Charlie 34:24

We were We were sitting in a business exam. And as mentioned to you previously, Martyn, the idea of the gym sort of developed when I was doing my A levels we were playing around with these ideas. Obviously Mrs. Bassett knowing what I'm like she said, you know what will be a really good name. And I'm like what? And she said are NQPC. No, at that time it was Not Quite Politically Correct and then obviously it got abbreviated to NQPC. But yeah, we just grabbed it and ran with it because I was like, oh my God, that's perfect because it describes me in a nutshell.

 

Georgina 34:55

Yeah. So, I Was like, I don't get it. I don't know what NQPC  mean. I don't know what being Not being politically correct means and then I was like, oh no I get it, it works. You're, you're not quite politically correct

 

Charlie 35:05

It just works with my tongue in cheek sense of humor. I often uses icebreakers, particularly when meeting able bodied people have like, out make a joke of myself and my disability and they go, Oh, okay, you're like, okay to talk about that stuff, then I am like. Yeah. Whereas some people were, they were quite cold, you sort of automatically shut that door. So I try and open it with that. Not quite politically correctness.

 

Martyn 35:31

I love it, it works. Well, it's definitely it's the kind of values thing isn't that kind of brand and values. And it's true to who you are. And it works well. So as I say, Thanks for your time, both. And best of luck with it. Oh, and yeah, just keep on doing what you're doing. Because I think it's really cool and amazing and excited to see where you go in the next year with this.

 

Mai Ling 35:53 (advertisement)

Thanks so much for joining us for this episode, and I invite you to connect with me directly at mailingchan.com. We also want you to let us know what you think about the show ideas and how we can continue to help you or referrals to a great guest through our Facebook group at exceptional leaders podcast or email us at xleaderspodcast@gmail.com.

 

Martyn 36:14

Yes, Mai Ling. I totally agree with that. I know we're both really mission driven people. And for me, it's always been this big mission to have a world that fully inclusive for all people. And in the end, that's probably why we've bonded and come together so well on this podcast, exceptional leaders podcast, because we get to meet cool people, give them a platform to share their story and really just make such an impact in the disability world. I love it. Also, for everyone listening please do head over to (https://disabilityhorizons.com/). This is the magazine that I co-founded about 10 years ago. We've got a free mailing list there for all the latest article news, discounts for the shop if that's your kind of thing. And definitely do get your copy of becoming an exceptional leader. We want you to get as much information as you need and to be as successful as you can be.