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Five-time Paralympic gold medallist Hannah Cockcroft MBE tells BigChange Motivational Monday audience about pushing beyond notions of disability

Soon after Hannah Cockcroft was born, doctors said her parents shouldn’t expect her to walk, talk, or ever live independently.

Hannah, 28, is now a five-time Paralympic gold medalist. As a sprint wheelchair racer, she is world record holder in her category for the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1,500m.

On her journey from her Halifax home to the world stage “Choices over challenge” has been Hannah’s mantra.

Speaking to BigChange’s Motivational Monday audience, she showed how when faced with a challenge, we always have a choice about our attitude and about how to deal with it.

That ethos has led to great achievements on and off the track. “I get asked a lot what’s the achievement I’m most proud of,” said Hannah,

“People presume I’m going to say the MBE or my Paralympic medals. But actually it’s my independence, because it’s a thing my parents never expected.”

Her worldview switched during a visit to her Secondary School from the GB wheelchair basketball team.

“I will always remember that day. They were able to do everything in these chairs. These guys really changed my mind about what it meant to be a wheelchair user.

“It was the day a whole new world was opened up to me.” After years doing homework during PE lessons, or keeping score, Hannah discovered “sport was for me”.

After trying basketball, wheelchair rugby (“I liked the aggression”) and tennis (“I had no hand-eye coordination at all!”), Hannah found her passion in track sprinting.

By 17, she was a GB athlete and a world-record holder.

“That was where I came up against the obstacle of classification. You get a number that means when you line up on the start line you’re racing against people with a similar disability to you.”

“It started a big challenge, because people started to argue I wasn’t racing a fair race.”

“That was the first time I’d ever been bullied. When you are surrounded by people like you, disabled people, that’s the last place you expect the word bullying to crop up. But I was told to put my head in a bonfire because it’d make the world a better place.”

Her first reaction was to ask her coach to send her home. But she chose a different way, and went on to become one of the UK’s greatest athletes.

Hannah’s inspiring story shows that, although we can’t always choose the challenge that faces us, we can always choose how we meet it.

Watch the full video here:

Hannah was joined by Daniel Gray, Chairman of Physcap, a Leeds-based charity, working to improve quality of life for children with physical and mental disabilities across Yorkshire.

Daniel spoke of the tremendous work the charity does for children, and echoed Hannah’s message of giving every child with a disability hope, will to achieve and determination that nothing will beat them.

As BigChange’s charity partner of the month, Physcap will receive the £1,250 raised so far to further its incredible cause.

Next month, we’re excited to welcome Janet Street-Porter, the journalist and broadcaster. Our charity partner is Homeless Street Angels, who provide assistance and resources for the homeless in Leeds.

You can join our event here: https://webinar.ringcentral.com/webinar/register/7216149348162/WN_fhkHeHcZRX-3UpIpwcgq4A

We hope to see you then.

High and Low Voltage Electrical Engineering company Sinewave Energy Solutions has boosted its field installation and service operations with a 5 in 1 mobile workforce system from BigChange.

The cloud-based JobWatch solution combines mobile apps and real-time tracking, connected seamlessly to back office software including job booking and schedulingCRM and invoicing. Sinewave is already saving 2000 hours of engineer time annually by replacing paperwork with digital data entry on BigChange tablets.

Swindon-based Sinewave is involved in power distribution connecting infrastructure to the electricity network and undertaking the work needed to provide power to anything from an office, to factory or sports stadium. Established in 2015 and growing rapidly, doubling in size for each of the last three years. The Swindon-based company offers a complete end-to-end solution from design to network connection, construction, testing and commissioning and ongoing maintenance and servicing.

Keith Irwin, Business Development Manager, Sinewave Energy Solutions says:

“With our rapid growth we knew we needed a system that could allow us to freely expand but also be very easy to implement and use,”

Irwin adds:

“We undertook an extensive review of systems on the market and BigChange was clearly the best solution for us. It was really the only properly interconnected system, giving us everything we need in a single, easy to use solution.”

Adam Woodley, Sinewave’s Managing Director says:

“The other thing we really liked about BigChange was that the company’s forward-thinking and ambitious growth outlook was similar to our attitude and that provided real empathy. It is clearly a company going places and we couldn’t help feeling other providers – although longer established and bigger – were not fuelled by the same ambition or commitment,”

The JobWatch system has been implemented, initially within Sinewave’s Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Division. Previously largely paper-based with data held on various spreadsheets, the entire process has now been automated with jobs booked and scheduled, routed, completed using the BigChange tablets connected in real time to the back office applications.

Sinewave operates in high risk environment and as well as providing electronic job sheets and time sheets, JobWatch provides apps for everything from site risk assessments to near-miss hazard reports, before and after work photo capture and vehicle inspections. BigChange also handles purchase orders and invoicing, with seamless integration to Sinewave’s Sage 50 accounting software

Woodley adds:

“BigChange really has revolutionised the way we work with apps for every conceivable job and it provides real time visibility of the operation. We’ve only really just started with O&M the first division to benefit. Here it is saving 4 hours a job but eliminating the extensive paperwork and data entry. With 500 jobs of this type a year that amounts to 2000 hours – a saving of 250 working days a year is pretty impressive!”

BigChange

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