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News: Inspi­ra­tional Owen uses his expe­ri­ences to help oth­ers with disabilities

Please note: This news story may contain information that is no longer current or up to date.
Owen Brindley and Lecturer Mary Flintoff
Owen Brindley and Lecturer Mary Flintoff

A student who has been battling with disabilities and illness his entire life is proving you can do anything you set your mind to.

Twen­ty-year-old Owen Brind­ley, from Bil­bor­ough, was born with­out a kid­ney, suf­fers from hear­ing and speech prob­lems, and is fed through a PEG (Per­cu­ta­neous Endo­scop­ic Gas­tron­o­my). He has under­gone more than 30 oper­a­tions dur­ing his life, but despite this Owen is using his love of enter­tain­ing peo­ple to help oth­ers who may be struggling.

When I was young, I was born with­out any kid­neys so my mum gave me one of hers 15 years ago which was amaz­ing, and prob­a­bly saved my life! I wear two hear­ing aids which with­out them I wouldn’t be able to hear any­one. I’ve always been NIL by mouth, since I was born but I don’t let it stop me doing the things I enjoy. 

 — Owen Brind­ley

Owen is study­ing a Lev­el 3 qual­i­fi­ca­tion in per­son­al and social devel­op­ment and Lev­el 1 func­tion­al skills in Maths and Eng­lish at Not­ting­ham Col­lege along­side his role of Stu­dents’ Union Dis­abil­i­ty Offi­cer. In his spare time Owen also co-presents Smash­hitz’, a com­mu­ni­ty radio sta­tion run by YMCA Dig­i­tal and sup­ports char­i­ties such as Not­ting­ham Clubs for Young Peo­ple and When you Wish Upon a Star.

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He said: When I was young I was grant­ed two wish­es from When you Wish Upon a Star. The first allowed me to become a But­lins Red Coat enter­tain­er which I real­ly enjoyed and was where my love of per­form­ing and enter­tain­ing peo­ple got start­ed. These wish­es made such a dif­fer­ence to me when I was younger and that’s why it’s so impor­tant to me that I raise mon­ey for the char­i­ty; to give oth­er young peo­ple the oppor­tu­ni­ty to have their wish­es too.”

Owen has been using sign lan­guage since he was at pri­ma­ry school. He signed songs from The Great­est Show­man at the College’s recent Fresh­ers’ Fair event, and won a tal­ent com­pe­ti­tion whilst on hol­i­day in the Isle of Wight ear­li­er this year. He is set to com­pete in the semi-finals on the 5th October. 

Being able to use my expe­ri­ences to help oth­ers with dis­abil­i­ties at Col­lege and in the com­mu­ni­ty is such a good feeling. 

 — Owen Brind­ley

Not­ting­ham Col­lege Lec­tur­er Mary Flintoff (pic­tured with Owen in the main pho­to above) bumped into Owen at the College’s Fresh­ers’ Fair. She had this to say: I taught Owen in Year 10 and I’ve just seen him per­form in front of Not­ting­ham Col­lege stu­dents and sign two beau­ti­ful songs, and he’s flour­ish­ing and doing bril­liant­ly. I’m so proud of Owen and I’m so proud of how far he’s come.” 

Owen has made a fan­tas­tic start in devel­op­ing a new Stu­dents’ Union role with­in the Col­lege, as we are pas­sion­ate about ensur­ing all our stu­dents’ voic­es are heard at every lev­el. He is enthu­si­as­tic, pas­sion­ate and has lots of great ideas about sup­port­ing stu­dents with dis­abil­i­ties, to get the most out of their stu­dent expe­ri­ence. He is a plea­sure to work with, and his per­for­mance at our Fresh­ers’ Fair sign­ing with Zuz­ka — Singer and Gui­tarist was a real high­light of the day. 

 — Not­ting­ham Col­lege Well­be­ing Man­ag­er, Lau­ra Archer
Published on:
  • 20th September 2019 (4:03 PM)
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