Emma is a former Treloar School and College student. She has Cerebral Palsy and a visual impairment. She is currently two-thirds the way through completing an undergraduate degree in Journalism at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham. She is also one of the tenants living at Campbell Court, which re-opened last June to provide independent support for disabled students at UCA Farnham and young leavers of education from Hampshire.
As Emma, 21, is an aspiring journalist herself, she has agreed to give her story of how Treloar’s and her love of music changed her life:
"Before being a Treloar’s student, I never thought I could achieve as much as I actually did. I tended to rely on my parents to do most things for me and felt I was limited in where I went and what I could do. Seven years onward, I am now more confident, have self-control, extremely organised and determined to be as independent as possible.I have always had a big passion for music and would regularly listen to my favourite bands and artists. My dream was to be able to go to concerts and festivals and see them perform live. Growing up, I thought my disabilities would prevent me from being a part of such events. However, when meeting with other students at the School and discussing with support staff such as Learning Support Assistants and Occupational Therapists, they made me realise this dream can be a reality.
Then one day, at aged 15, one of my classmates invited me to join her and her family at a Calvin Harris gig in Bournemouth. I accepted her offer and went with her to my first ever concert. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and couldn’t believe I never discovered it sooner. It brought me feelings I’d never felt before and I was transported into another world where I belonged. Live music was my home. Moreover, the fact I have a visual impairment meant I rely on my hearing more. While at concerts, all that’s there is noise. So I never have to use my sight at all and can sit back and just enjoy the sound around me.
Since then, I have spent the last 6 years travelling the depth and breadth of the UK trying to attend as many concerts and festivals as possible. Nevertheless, these events aren’t easy to organise, especially when you’re disabled. Luckily, Treloar’s taught me life skills in how to deal with tasks such as purchasing tickets, getting carers to accompany you and finding suitable transport and accommodation.
Nowadays, trying to organise gigs can still be tricky at times but I’ve learnt how to negotiate problems and that nothing can stop me attending a concert. Over the years I have been to several gigs including Snow Patrol, The Enemy, Muse, Bastille and Linkin Park (to name a few). Plus I have had the opportunity to attend the Reading Festival twice. Later this summer I will be attending my first ever Glastonbury Festival.
These experiences have made me put my two passions together; writing & music. My long term goal now is to become a music journalist.”