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    15 March 2021 – Five-time Paralympic gold medallist Hannah Cockcroft MBE, DL 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 donate to Homeless Street Angels here.

    You can join our event here.

    We hope to see you then.

    Leeds, February 2021 – Kevin Sinfield MBE revealed the caring heart inside a man of iron, as he told February’s Motivational Monday that raising more than £2.5m for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) was a bigger achievement than leading Leeds Rhinos to seven Super League championships.

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    Leeds, 25 January 2021 – In January, BigChange welcomed Benjamin Mee, the conservationist and author of We Bought a Zoo, as its Motivational Monday speaker.

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    Leeds, 15 December 2020 – In December, BigChange welcomed Ben Fogle, broadcaster and adventurer, as its Motivational Monday speaker

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    Leeds, 24 November 2020 – In November, BigChange welcomed Ann Hiatt, a renowned leadership strategist, as its Motivational Monday speaker

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    20th October 2020 – In October, BigChange hosted Midge Ure OBE as its speaker for Motivational Monday.

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    7th September 2020 – BigChange gave a big virtual welcome to Tracy Edwards MBE, this month’s Motivational Monday speaker.

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    For August’s Motivational Monday we welcomed Gabby Logan to BigChange

    In a fascinating hour, Gabby explored her journey to the top in the male-dominated world of sports broadcasting, how COVID-19 might make us work smarter not longer, and how she first met Martin Port over a pizza 30 years ago.

    Gabby has been a leading sports broadcaster with Sky, ITV and the BBC for over 20 years. As a presenter of Inside Sport, Final Score and the Premier League Show – as well as anchor of coverage of Olympic Games and World Cups – she’s become a household name.

    Her success makes her a female role model in an industry now much more diverse than when she began. Gabby talked us through what she’s learnt on her journey, from being told she wouldn’t be able to combine being a barrister and a mother, to reaching the very top of another male-dominated world.

    In the video, which you can view below, she also discusses the latest news in the world of sport, like the growth of activism in football, and the struggle to get more kids involved.

    Some key takeaways from Gabby’s visit include making a leap of faith to achieve your dream, not getting down on yourself about mistakes that are out of your control, and the importance of being a role model.

    Thank you Gabby, for the inspirational stories – and for your repertoire of impressions!

    Watch the Video:

    BigChange welcomed Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson on the 1st of June to be our latest Motivational Monday speaker.

    Tanni is one of the UK’s most successful and celebrated Paralympians, breaking 30 World Records during her career on the track. But not only is Tanni an incredible athlete, she is also a truly inspiring person who has contributed hugely to empowering other people with disabilities, in both the UK and abroad.

    As you will see in the video below, Tanni spoke to us about her amazing career, both on and off the track, highlighting challenges she has had to overcome to get to where she is today. Key takeaway messages from Tanni included to never be afraid to lose (knowing that you can come back stronger), believing that with hard-work you can achieve your goals, and to always ‘pay it forward’ when you yourself have benefited from something.

    Tanni also touches on the impact that the current Covid-19 pandemic has had and what coming out of isolation means, particularly for people with a disability.

    Thank you, Tanni, for an amazing and inspiring insight into your life.

    Watch the Video:

    Mondays get a bad rep but here at BigChange they are everyone’s favourite day of the week.

    That’s because of our regular “Motivational Monday” initiative. Once a month, we invite someone exceptional from the world of sport or business (or anywhere really, as long as they are inspiring) to come in and talk to the team, share their stories and give advice.

    Last week, we had Sharron Davies MBE in the office. She represented Great Britain in the Olympics and won a silver medal for the nation. She told us about how arduous training was – getting up at 5am and eating just a single meal each day to stay lean – and how hard it was to survive as an athlete in the old days, before sponsorships deals and TV contracts. It was just fascinating to hear her story.

    Last month, we had Mr Motivator, the legend from GMTV morning television. He revealed that he’d been homeless for a time but managed to turn his life around. Other noteworthy speakers have been: Kevin Keegan OBE, football star and manager; Gerald Ratner former CEO of jewellery chain Rateners; Olympic gold medallist Sally Gunnell, the model turned entrepreneur Caprice; the racing driver Nick Hamilton; John McCarthy, who was taken hostage while reporting the crisis in Lebanon; and Mike Newman, who broke the land speed record despite being blind, and has founded the charity Speed of Sight. These are just a handful of the incredible people that have come into the office and chatted to the team. These are small sessions. We can ask questions and have a coffee together – it’s really an amazing thing to do.

    We set aside a significant budget to get these people to come in and talk to us but it’s money well spent. Not only do these stories inspire the existing team, it’s also one of the reasons we successfully hire so many great new people. These Monday Motivations also pick me up when I’m feeling tired out or low. I’ve learned something valuable from every single person that’s come and given a talk. Sometimes it’s just a reminder of the importance of tenacity. Other times, I get more practical help: Mr Motivator gave me a few tips on how to sit and stand that help my posture, and I follow that advice every day.

    At BigChange, we want to change the perception of Mondays. That’s why we make it possible for people to meet their icons at Monday Motivation. It shouldn’t be a drag to go to work; it should be a joy.

    What are you doing to make Mondays better for your people? Let me know in the comments below.


    Martin Port
    Founder & CEO

    BigChange was privileged to host BBC Dragons Den Entrepreneur Jenny Campbell on July 1, 2019.

    Campbell’s story and journey to overcoming adversity and achieving personal and professional success truly captivated the entire BigChange team and served as an inspiration to what one can accomplish when driven to meet your goals and fulfil your potential.

    Jenny Campbell left school at 16 and eventually climbed the ranks to become one of the few senior female bankers in the UK (at the time). After 30 years in the banking industry, Ms Campbell launched a major restructure of Hanco ATM Systems which helped guide the organisation to regain financial viability and European market share. Campbell later bought out the business and became the majority shareholder in the newly rebranded YourCash Europe Ltd leading to its eventual sale for £50 million in 2016.

    With a vast range of business experience at all levels of the process; from low-level clerk to high-level corporate executive, Jenny Campbell provided her inspiring reflections on a fascinating life in the business world to the BigChange team.

    Celebrated veteran and British hero Simon Weston CBE visited technology company BigChange to mark the unveiling of Motivational Monday.

    BigChange CEO Martin Port who founded the company in 2013 invited the celebrated and heroic veteran to address the team.

    Simon shared his courageous and inspirational story of survival and achievement. In 1982 he was aboard the troop ship Sir Galahad that was destroyed in Bluff Cove on the Falkland Islands. Despite horrific injuries and 46% burns, Simon survived this life-changing turn of events. Addressing BigChange’s 50-strong team at their HQ in Leeds, Simon spoke about how self-belief enabled him to rebuild his life and gave him the strength to start a string of business ventures. His message was one of achievement, of triumph over adversity, of seizing the moment and succeeding.

    Stressing the importance of tenacity in business, Simon challenged the BigChange team to “Face your fears in the world of business and invest in yourself; it’s not what happens to you that matters, it’s what you do about it that counts.”

    The story resonated strongly with the BigChange team, who are running one of the fastest growing technology businesses in the UK. BigChange is growing annually at an average of 85%, and the company recently ranked number 12 out of 100 in the Tech North 100, a league table compiled by government backed Tech City that ranks the fastest growing Technology businesses in the UK.

    BigChange’s paperless mobile workforce management platform is used by over 15,000 subscribers across the many industries. The cloud based system lets companies of any size plan, manage, schedule and track their mobile workers and fleets.

    Commenting on the success of the motivational event, Martin Port, founder and CEO at BigChange said:

    “Simon’s spirit passion and zest for life shone through when he told us about his incredible life story. His motivating message is a lesson for all of us in the business community and the wider. The first Motivational Monday was a massive success.”

    BigChange

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