Disabled people and their families were among the guests to get a glimpse of life behind the iconic door of 10 Downing Street at a reception held for disability charity Scope on Tuesday evening.
The reception, hosted by Samantha Cameron, was an opportunity for Scope to thank some of its closest supporters, volunteers, fundraisers, ambassadors, patrons and staff for their work supporting disabled people and their families across England and Wales.
Scope’s celebrity supporters also attended the event – including Breaking Bad star RJ Mitte who has cerebral palsy and campaigns for more disabled actors to be seen on screen, Holly Valance, Game of Thrones actor Joe Dempsie, Adam Hills, and Alex Brooker who fronted Scope’s End the Awkward campaign.
Samantha Cameron spoke passionately about the challenges faced by disabled people.
"We all know that there is still a long journey ahead before all disabled people in our society have the same choices and opportunities as everyone else," she said.
Alice Boardman, who is supported by Scope’s Face2Face befriending and mentoring service, also spoke movingly about her experiences as a mother of two disabled children.
When Alice was introduced to Scope’s F2F scheme six years ago she was in crisis. But she found meeting another parent of disabled children was a turning a point.
"As with any disability story, this is a lifelong challenge," she said. "There are no happy endings, no Disney moments when you can say, ‘we fixed it’. We live a rollercoaster of highs and lows and never know what is around the corner.
"That is where Scope fits into our family. Scope has helped me to develop the skills I need. I am no longer isolated. And that has given me the confidence to support my children in a much more proactive way. Now I feel privileged to be on this journey."
Scope has shared a blog written by Alice as part of its 100 days, 100 stories campaign to highlight the experiences of disabled people ahead of the General Election.
Notes to the editor:
Scope works with disabled people of all ages and their families across England and Wales. We offer practical, everyday support and deliver campaigns that can change lives. Our vision is a world where disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else. Together we can create a better society.