It is an absolute pleasure to introduce you to Nath Fernandez, what an inspirational guy! Whilst dealing with severe Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy which affects both arms, and both legs along with associated communication difficulties, Nath has built 2 businesses (and since this interview has gone onto developing his third). His most recent project is Dynamically Awesome, a business providing ‘accessible for all’ team building birthday parties to children aged 6-12.
Dynamically Awesome: http://dynamically-awesome.co.uk/
My stand out moments
- Nath’s approach to challenge and response to his condition, Nath clearly struggles with communication, and yet set up a successful business delivering workshops and talks. This would be a barrier to most people, but for Nath it doesn’t seem to register as a concern, instead all he sees is the impact he is having on the recipients of his work.
- Nath’s drive for independence even though “I couldn’t get a job like my friends”.
The transcript of the interview is as follows:
“My name is Nath Fernandez, I’m 24 and I live in Bristol. I have a first class degree from the Uni in business enterprise and I’ve used that to propel myself into running two businesses, one of which is running disability awareness workshops up and down the country. I do this within schools and also give lectures.
The reason why I decided to go into business in general is because when I was a teenager I couldn’t get a job like my friends, so I was thinking of a way to make money without relying on the bank of mum and dad.
Whilst I was at uni in Bristol, one of my carers at the time was like, why don’t you use your disability as an advantage, and maybe do workshops and talks. So it was there I began, it took a lot of late nights and hard work, but we launched at the end of 2011 and since then I have travelled, doing workshops and lectures to thousands of people.
I did a workshop in Bridgend, at the end, I don’t know if it’s anything to do with the welsh culture, but then some girls from year 8 and 9 just came up and started hugging me for some reason, and that’s a prime example for me to say yay, I have made an impact on their lives.
You can follow me on twitter @VUEcan, or visit our website at veucan.co.uk, and on there you can read my life story, and about what we are trying to achieve with the business and what it is.”
An update from Nath about his new business:
Nath Fernandes (who has severe Cerebral Palsy) has since gone onto developing his third business, Dynamically Awesome providing teambuilding birthday parties to children aged 6-12. During these parties, children must work as a team to complete challenges including The Cube and The Labyrinth obtaining keys to unlock a treasure chest full of goodies! The concept stemmed from Nath’s daily experience working with his 12 PAs and the important role that teamwork plays in order to achieve his goals. When Nath was growing up, finding a suitable venue or activity became a challenge in itself; most of the time it was either bowling or the cinema followed by a meal. As a result, one of the aims that Nath set for Dynamically Awesome is to adapt these parties to be ‘accessible for all’ thus this summer he is working closely with a charity to trial some adapted challenges to ensure that participants have the most awesome time ever, after all, that’s what birthday parties are for!