Fakenham woman visits Hong Kong to speak about living with cerebral palsy

Joan Latta speaks during her trip to Hong Kong. Picture: FruitQian

Joan Latta speaks during her trip to Hong Kong. Picture: FruitQian - Credit: Archant

Joan Latta, 23, visited schools, colleges, universities and conferences to raise awareness about living with the condition.

Joan Latta speaks during her trip to Hong Kong. Picture: FruitQian

Joan Latta speaks during her trip to Hong Kong. Picture: FruitQian - Credit: Archant

Miss Latta is determined to break down barriers for people with disabilities. In Hong Kong she spoke at top schools including St Stephens Girls College and Tung Wah College which trains nurses and occupational therapists.

'I thoroughly enjoyed doing the talks at the schools and colleges. Everyone made me feel so welcome,' she said. 'I could tell the students worked hard to overcome the language barrier to understand my talk.'

Ester Pak, vice-principal of St Stephen's Girls College, Hong Kong, said: 'It raised the awareness of our students about the condition cerebral palsy and how it can be overcome. Students were encouraged by the idea that there is no limit to what one can achieve in life.'

Joan added: 'Whilst I was there I also got the chance to sample the food in Hong Kong which was delicious. It is so different to English food. However the weather was just so hot I couldn't eat much at all. Hong Kong is a lovely city but it is very busy and hectic. I thoroughly enjoyed my tour and the thrill it gave me seeing my audiences learning so much and clearly having fun whilst learning about Cerebral Palsy. I would love to do another tour abroad and stay longer to enjoy myself.'

Joan was invited to Hong Kong after she contacted colleges offering to come and speak to students. She set up her business, Cerebral Palsy Alive and Kicking, with the help of The Prince's Trust.

She was a runner up for the Prince's Trust's enterprise awards, announced last month and has also become one of its young ambassadors.

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'It is hard both living with a disability and looking after somebody who is disabled,' she said. 'The idea behind my public speaking and disability awareness training is to help people understand these challenges and change attitudes towards disabled people.'

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