A former Cross Hills student is hoping to publish a travel guide for disabled people visiting the 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil.
Emily Yates was a Gamesmaker volunteer at the 2012 Paralympics in London and so inspired Lord Sebastian Coe during the Games that she was mentioned in his speech at the closing ceremony.
Following that praise, the 20-year-old, who has cerebral palsy and has been in a wheelchair since the age of nine, has been equally inspired to do something to empower other disabled people in the lead-up to the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“It would be nice to do something to represent disabled people,” said Emily, who attended South Craven School.
Emily, an experienced traveller herself, said she used travel guides to get around but admitted they included only very limited information for people with a disability.
“Ideally, I’d like it to be a book that would include reviews on hotels, restaurants, public transport and general information on helping people to get around,” she said. “And, hopefully, this will allow people to experience the buzz and vibe of the Paralympic Games.”
Emily got the chance to meet Lord Coe again and promote her idea when the two appeared on BBC programme The One Show in early December.
“It was brilliant to see Seb again and he supported what I’m doing,” said Emily, who hopes he might write the foreword for the book if it is published.
Emily, now a student at the Queen Mary Univer-sity of London, said her idea was in the “very, very early stages”, and that she would require funding to help get it off the ground. She is due to meet officials from the British Paralympic Association this month to pitch the idea to them.
Emily said if she gets backing for the book, she could spend the next couple of years developing it.