As the Dyspraxia Foundation holds Dyspraxia Awareness Week (October 13 to 19), a Haverhill man who has the condition has spoken of how the charity has helped him.
Liam Plumridge will be well known to many in the town, having been educated and raised here.
He was diagnosed when seven with dyspraxia, a condition effecting co-ordination and balance that can make every day things such as driving and even tying shoelaces a challenge.
Despite those challenges Liam has now graduated from Brighton University with a degree in Travel Management and now works as a Travel and Tourism college lecturer.
He is in his fourth year as a National Young Ambassador for the charity, a role he will soon give up, but his involvement with the charity has been life-changing.
Liam, now in High Wycombe, said: “What the charity has helped me do is raise awareness of dyspraxia and make me feel comfortable about my own problems.
“My role has dealt with a lot over the years. I’ve been to the House of Commons and been to schools and just been raising awareness.
“That’s something I’ve enjoyed doing and the fact that there’s an organisation that supports me in getting the information out there is important.”
Last year, while living in Eastbourne, Liam, 23, was named the Sovereign FM charity fund-raiser of the year. He has now raised £15,000 for the Foundation.
In 2007 Liam took part in the BBC documentary, Across The Andes; Beyond Boundaries, which saw a group of young people with varying disabilities trek across South America.
The experience, said Liam, changed his life: “It was difficult growing up with it and I didn’t really want to recognise it, but the expedition completely changed that.
“It was a complete reality check for me and I still refer back to it as the most important thing that happened in my development as an adult.
“It also inspired me to get into the travel business.”