Inspirational speaker coming to Shropshire awards ceremony

An inspirational woman from Shropshire who formed a charity to help young people turn their life around following major injury or illness will be the speaker at an awards ceremony next year.

Kelda Wood established the charity, Climbing Out, to work with young people facing life-changing injury and illness after she herself was badly injured in a horse riding accident.

Now, five years on, the charity is thriving and Kelda is even hoping to represent Team GB at the Paralympics in Rio in the paracanoe.

She will share her experiences at the 2016 Businesses for Children Awards ceremony taking place in Shropshire in March.

The awards are in their third year and celebrate businesses, organisations and charities which support and provide opportunities for children and young people.

They are run by Shrewsbury-based Businesses for Children Ltd.

Kelda will be the main guest speaker at the awards ceremony, which is expected to attract more than 250 guests after about 200 people attended the 2015 event.

She said: “I am delighted to be supporting an event that recognises all the hard work people are doing in Shropshire to support and benefit children.

“I am looking forward to hearing all about the many inspiring businesses and organisations which often don’t get the recognition they deserve, and I hope they will be interested to hear my story too.”

Climbing Out runs outdoor activity programmes to help young people regain their confidence and self esteem, and to provide them with the opportunity to realise what they can still achieve despite the challenges they face.

Kelda formed the charity after battling back from severely damaging her leg in a horse riding accident, eventually climbing Mount Kilimanjaro after years of rehabilitation.

She said: “I had a life changing moment when climbing Kilimanjaro, I began to realise there was so much to achieve, just differently to what I had planned before.

“I wanted to make sure that young people affected by a life-changing injury like mine could have the opportunity and support to see a positive future like I did.

“I am also now training full-time in the paracanoe to follow my dream of getting to an Olympic Games, and there is a good chance I could qualify I keep working hard.

“I really want to show young people who have been knocked back by an injury or illness that there is light at the end of the tunnel - you can move forward.

“I am currently looking for sponsorship to help fund my training and living costs, and would be very grateful to hear from anyone who may be able to help in any way.”

Rhea Alton, organiser of the Businesses for Children Awards, said having such an inspirational speaker at the ceremony was fantastic.

“We are thrilled that Kelda has agreed to attend the ceremony and speak to the guests,” she said.

“There will be representatives from businesses, charities and organisations, all of whom work with children, so hearing how Kelda turned a devastating injury into a positive way forward will be hugely beneficial and inspiring to everyone.”

Nominations are still open for the awards, which will take place at The Park Inn in Telford on March 12, 2016, and more information is on the website at www.bcawards.co.uk