Lucy Wood Q&A: The Peterlee teenager and MS sufferer on career aspirations and the business community

You’re currently at college aren’t you. What are your career aspirations?

I aspire in the future to work within media. I particularly aim to work in social media management. Social media management is the process of analysing social media audiences creating a strategy that is suitable for them. It also involves creating and uploading content for social media profiles and achieving engagement from the audiences.

Tell us more about what you’ve been doing for the East Durham News website?

I have been writing blogs about my life. This ranges from past experiences with dealing with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), to college life. The reason I am writing blogs about this is to show that having MS does not have as many limits as people would expect. I hope that my blogs will help someone who might be struggling with their MS diagnosis to realise that it is not the be all and end all, and that they can still live life the way they wanted to.

You’re determined that having MS won’t hold you back, aren’t you?

Yes definitely. I’ve always said that MS does not control me, I control MS. I have always been prejudged by the public as if you looked at me without actually knowing me and my story, you would think I am a normal 18-year-old girl. However, it is these judgements that push me on to get the message out there that not every disability is visible and that not everyone with MS has a physical deformity.

What would you say to businesses when it comes to recruiting people with disabilities or learning difficulties?

I would say that they should take into an account that just because someone has a disability or learning difficulty does not mean that it will affect their ability to do a job. Also, they should realise that just because a person is disabled it does not mean that they are wheelchair bound as some disabilities, such as Multiple Sclerosis, can have hidden effects and symptoms.

Awareness raising is key to businesses and people being more inclusive isn’t it, and that’s something you’ve done a lot. Tell us more.

In one of my blogs for East Durham News I stated that I overthought the idea that I was not getting any word back from jobs after I applied was due to me including my condition in my CV, and that if this was the case that it was wrong as my disability should not affect my ability to be able to get employment. With my blogs I like to raise positive awareness of living with Multiple Sclerosis as this will help businesses have a better understanding, and if people and businesses have more of an understanding on MS, then it is likely that they will be more inclusive.