I can't believe I am saying this but this is my first WOYWW of the year - please bear with me and apologies for long post!
Those of you who know me and are following on other social media will know my life has changed alot this year. I still craft occasionally, but have lost my mojo big time. This has been hampered by inability to sit/stand at my desk for too long and my creativity concentration is poor.
I am also supporting one of my dearest friends who has suffered greatly this year with her Depression and Anxiety. I've needed my strength to be there for her, help her by driving her to appointments and spending time with her when she's needed me.
The biggest change in my life happened just over six months ago. You all know I am a massive Bristol Rovers fan - well earlier this year in conjunction with the Supporters club, they held a meeting for disabled supporters with a view to starting an Official Bristol Rovers Disabled Supporters Association.
I went to this meeting and came home having agreed, along with another gentleman, to set up and run the DSA.
I am officially Zoe Kirkby - Secretary BRFC DSA
Yep. That. Is. Massive. Secretary doesn't really cover it. I am more like a DLO - Disability Liaison Officer/Secretary!
So over the last six months we have worked hard to set up the DSA. Not an easy task. You see there wasn't anything in place. I had to set up email/Paypal, work out procedures and daily admin. Sort a bank account. Create membership. Sort a website. Liaise with Bristol Rovers and all other football clubs who visit Rovers.
Myself and Clive (the other chap who has taken on role as Chair) have met up a number of times to plan, prepare and get things running.
Which led to us holding our first open meeting in September.
I am loving my role and am passionate about what I am doing. We've already made a difference - asking the club to put in place shelters over wheelchair areas, more accessible toilets and also how away fans are greeted. We are working with the club to ensure matchdays are enjoyable for all. There's still so much to do. But slowly we will get there.
So my desk - well I thought I would share photos from my recent meetings because that's what my desk looks like these days!
So first pics are from Yeovil Town FC. I attended a meeting that saw all clubs in the South West and South Wales being invited. Over 30 delegates attended.
Couldn't resist having a pic with Yeovil Town Manager Darren Way!
These are our view across Huish Park - Yeovil's ground.
I've been issued a Staff Pass which grants me general access around The Memorial Stadium - so I can go anywhere in our stadium including the away end which allows me to go and meet and greet the disabled away fans. (Yes I know my name is spelt wrong)
I am meeting lots of people in my role and last Friday I was invited to meet the new Commercial Director at Rovers to chat over coffee! Tom Gorringe is a fantastic guy who is very supportive of what we are trying to do.
In between everything I am resting up as this takes a huge effort on my part. But I wouldn't change it. I feel my confidence and self esteem have both positively increased. I feel confident I can go into any meeting or event and be able to hold my own. In fact, I have been asked to speak at a meeting at the end of the month. It's a networking meeting for businesses owned by Rovers supporters.
Of course, in between all of this I see my boy, Keagan. He has finally passed his driving test so can come home by himself. However he has a horse now that he is training ahead of the new Point to Point season starting so I only see him once every 2 -3 weeks.
Right that's me. Will pop round to see you all over the next few days.
Take care Zoe xx