Past Shows

Dr Dorothy Cowie – BOLDkids Brain Organisation in Limb Differences

Previous speakers at our Annual Family Weekends, Dorothy and her team at BOLDkids and collaboration with Professor Tamar Makin, an expert on brain plasticity at the UCL Plasticity Lab are no strangers to Reach!

Dorothy will be discussing the research project where every day behaviour and brain development was studied in children with limb differences, aiming to keep building a better understanding of the amazing ways in which these children develop to not only cope with, but thrive with, their limb differences.

Nate Macabuag & Alex Lewis - Koalaa

Nate Macabuag alongside Alex Lewis talking with Alastair about Project Limitless and their mission is to provide every child in the UK who needs one with a prosthetic limb.

Lots of Reach children are already involved from its launch last March. Now with its a partnership spearheaded by The Douglas Bader Foundation, The Alex Lewis Trust and Koalaa (formerly Mitt).


In 1964 Pat Johnson, an engineer with ICI, decided to help his disabled sister by making some improvements to her home because as a wheelchair user, she was experiencing difficulties in managing daily life. By 1968 a network of groups or panels of volunteers were set up across the country.  The acronym Remap officially stands for Rehabilitation  Engineering  Movement  Advisory  Panel but these days it is now known as Resourceful Engineers Make Anything Possible. Remap now covers the whole of the UK and completes 3,500 projects every year helping young and older disabled people to become more independent.

Cornwall Mobility

Cornwall Mobility is the largest mobility centre in the UK. Mobility centres aim, is to provide solutions, services, support and reassurance to people of all ages who face independence and mobility challenges. Some of the most commonly asked questions we have enquiries about, are about learning to drive with an upper limb difference.
Sascha Jacob and Joanna Dixon from Cornwall Mobility will be sharing a presentation which will enlighten and inform, covering license application, coding on licenses, assessments, costs and adaptations. They will also be demonstrating various adaptations that can be fitted in a car.

Joanna Allen

Joanna, proud mum to 8 year old Daisy and 6 year old James, wife, CEO of graze, and co-chair of enableUnilever‘s employee network for people with disabilities alongside Nakul Gaur talks with Alastair and shares her story of how early support gave hope, viewing her pregnancy ‘the opportunity to reflect on my own behaviour and bias’  and on how inclusive Joanne previously viewed herself – as an individual, as a friend, as a marketeer.

Ruth Lester

A member of The British Society for Surgery of the Hand, Ruth holds the position of honorary consultant plastic surgeon at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. Originally trained as a plastic surgeon, Ruth became a consultant as a Burns Surgeon at the Birmingham Accident Hospital, where she discovered a need for hand surgery. Around 1990, Ruth was contacted by the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, requesting that she join them to help with children’s hand conditions. She then went on to negotiate a transfer to The Birmingham Children’s Hospital as she found that she wanted to operate on children at a younger age and therefore needed the facilities of a children’s hospital.

A valued member on the Reach Board of Trustees, Ruth was a key speaker at the 2017 Annual Family Weekend and regularly helps advise and supports members. Ruth will be discussing ‘How does a surgeon think?

Amy Truesdale & Limb Power

Para Taekwondo fighter, Amy Truesdale has had quite the impressive medal tally over the years and is best known for her World Championship wins in 2014 and 2017. In 2019 alone Amy won a bronze medal in the European Para Taekwondo Open Championships, Gold in the Asian Para Open Taekwondo Championships, Gold in the Korea Open Para Taekwondo, and in the African Para Taekwondo Championships, Amy won yet another Gold!

Representing GB, Amy’s primary aim is to win gold at Para Taekwondo’s debut at Tokyo in 2021 and then hopefully do the same in Paris in 2024. Amy is also a keen advocate for disability sport and has made it her mission to raise awareness, she will be talking with Alastair about her sporting journey also focussing on her training and how she adapts exercise and methods to best suit her needs.

Limb Power was launched in November 2009 to engage amputees and individuals with limb impairments in physical activity, sport and the arts to improve quality of life and to aid lifelong rehabilitation. In July 2014 LimbPower became a National Disability Sports Organisation, sitting alongside WheelPower, Cerebral Palsy Sport (CP Sport), Dwarf Sport, British Blind Sport (BBS), UK Deaf Sport, Mencap Sport and Special Olympics Great Britain (SOGB). Through this association and our work with the English Federation of Disability Sport and Sport England LimbPower help amputees and people with limb impairment reach their sporting potential. LimbPower also run arts based activities including confidence workshops and a photography club.