Katie's Diary

Do it like Danielle Brown MBE ... In Style!

5th September 2014

YORKSHIRE born Danielle Brown MBE is a Paralympic athlete who has achieved so much in the last few years.  She suffers from reflex sympathetic dystrophy in the feet, and competes sitting down or leaning on a stool, making life hard at the best of times. However this hasn’t stopped her one bit.

An archer for the GB Paralympic Team, Danielle is the current Paralympic and Disabled World and European Champion, and her achievements to date include five world championship gold medals, eight individual IPC world records, and a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

Danielle also won Gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where she became the first disabled competitor to represent England in an able bodied discipline.  A wonderful achievement in itself. This was followed up by a second successive Paralympic Games gold medal, beating GB teammate Mel Clarke in the final at the Royal Artillery Barracks at London 2012.

Besides her sporting achievements Danielle has also recently completed a Law degree at the University of Leicester and is using her skills to inspire and mentor business people who look for ideas to the world of sport.  

She has recently spoken to a high level business conference about how she overcame adversity to achieve her goals.  Her hard work and guts have been rewarded with an MBE.

She is a huge inspiration to all the people ubu serve and shows that no matter what kind of  barrier you face or the challenges that your disability brings, you can still achieve all the goals and dreams that you have set yourself.

uStep is a great way of enabling you to set a long term goal and work towards it with smaller steps.  If you reflect and learn from every achievement you will quickly get to your destination – you can always set another ambitious target.

Danielle reminds us that you will achieve success if you remain focussed and don’t get put off my small set backs. 


Listed below are a number of other successful people that have gone on to achieve a great deal of success despite facing some pretty difficult times;

Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis is hugely successful actor, best known for his roles in the Die Hard series, Armageddon and the Expendables. Willis suffered from a severe stutter for the first 20 years of his life. According to a 2001 biography, Willis explained that acting helped him overcome his challenges.  He said, “A big part of my sense of humour came out of my stuttering, in trying to overcome that and have some dignity. I said, 'Yes, I stutter, but I can make you laugh.'”

Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey is an American actor and his ability to make people laugh has launched his successful career. He is known for his wild behaviour on screen, and off.  Carrey is one of many adults who suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, better known as ADHD.  Carrey learned to channel his energy and creativity into his successful acting career.

Warwick Davis

Warwick Davis is an English actor and television presenter who has starred in films such as Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and the Harry Potter trilogy. Davis was born with SED, an extremely rare form of dwarfism but managed to become a hugely successful actor despite the difficulties it brought.

Stevie Wonder

One of the most beloved singers alive today, Stevie Wonder is a musician, singer and songwriter who was born blind. The blood vessels at the back of his eyes had not yet reached the front and aborted their growth. This resulted in his blindness. Considered a massive talent as a child, Stevie signed with his first record label at age 11, and he’s been performing since.

Michelle Rodriquez

Michelle Rodriguez is an American actress who has starred in Girlfight, The Fast and the Furious. She was also known for her role in the television series Lost.

She has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) Because of this; she has trouble focusing amongst other things. 

Tanni Grey-Thompson (Carys Davina "Tanni" Grey-Thompson)

Baroness, Tanni Grey Thompson is a British former wheelchair racer and is a parliamentarian and television presenter. She was born in Cardiff, Wales. She was born with spina bifida and is a wheelchair user. Despite the difficulties, Tanni went on to achieve a great deal of success including a  bronze medal in the 400m during the Seoul games.

Her fifth and last Paralympic Games were in Athens (2004) where she won two gold medals in In total in her Paralympic career she won 16 medals (11 gold, four silver and a bronze) and also 13 World Championship medals, six gold, five silver and two bronze.

Ellie Simmonds MBE

Ellie Simmonds is a British Paralympian swimmer competing in S6 events. She came to national attention when she competed in the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, winning two gold medals for Great Britain, despite being the youngest member of the team, at the age of 13

Ellie, who has achondroplasia, which is a common cause of dwarfism. She hasn’t let it faze her though and despite all the challenges that she continues to face, she’s still looking to build on her previous achievements.

Jonnie Peacock MBE

Jonathan Peacock is an English amputee and sprint runner. He won gold at the 2012 Summer Paralympics, representing Great Britain in the T44 men's 100 metres event. At the age of five, he contracted meningitis resulting in the disease killing the tissues of his right leg and resulted in his leg being amputated just below the knee. However despite this, Jonnie has gone to succeed at the highest level and continues to pursue further success. 


ubu plays a key role in helping the people they serve get opportunities to take part in any activity, sport or leisure opportunity they want to do. This is important as not only does it help them mix with other people and become more social, it helps them in building up confidence and a feeling of making a real contribution.

This is important so that the people we serve can live a fulfilling and more independent life as well as achieving what they want to achieve and live with a smile on their faces. Many people we serve have gone on to hit their goals and realise their dreams over the course of the last 30 years through the unique support we have provided.

Next week we open another uStep support and we will be joined by some of the people we serve who have lived with us for some time.  They will share their journey, so that like Danielle we see how it is possible with ubu support to overcome adversity.

We believe that by providing them with the opportunities, they will continue to shine. ubu’s goal has always been to help people make the best of themselves and the most of their lives and encouraging them to realise their dreams.

Do it like Danielle Brown MBE ... In Style!

 I decide what matters to me. ubu help and teach me to make my future happen 

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