A woman with a hearing and visual impairment, who has starred on stage and raised £2,600 from a 10km run, has now released a book.
Helen Browne, who turned 60 on 20 July, has refused to let her impairments stop her living her life and this year has taken to the stage at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, and completed the Manchester 10km.
Helen, from Stretford, received support from Trafford Council which enabled personal assistants to ensure she can enjoy an active life.
I’ve had quite a few personal assistants and I’m happy with what I’ve got. My personal assistants give me space to do what I need to do and carry on living my life.”
The book, called ‘Walk in my shoes, see through my eyes’, is part autobiography and part anthology of poetry. It was launched on Helen’s birthday at the Royal Exchange where she took part in a production called Adieu. This was staged at The Studio and was a collaboration between the Elders and Young company, directed by Artistic Director Bryony Shanahan.
It’s been a wonderful experience. At one time, I thought I had bitten off more than I can chew. I was told ‘Yes, you have but there comes a time where you get on with it and swallow it whole.”
Helen took on the role of a postal worker who delivers a powerful monologue to the audience.
Helen applied the same ‘can do’ attitude to her 10km efforts in May. She has already completed 70 Parkruns in Longford Park with the aid of a guide.
It was a fantastic experience and I will be doing it again. For the first time I was a bit startled. The music unnerved me a bit more but I got through it.”
The 10km helped raise £2,600 for DeafBlind UK, a national charity supporting people with sight and hearing loss.
Helen, who has plans to travel to Eastern Europe in the near future and to be ordained as a Buddhist, said her approach to life is to try and try again.
I'm used to failing. I came at the back of the pack on Parkrun. I failed my A levels twice but, at the end of the day, I graduated from Durham and it’s that failing that teaches us about life.”
Cllr Jo Harding, Trafford Council Executive Member for Adult Social Care, said:
Helen is an inspiration to us all. As a Council, we want to help people to help themselves – to be self-sufficient and able to cope. Helen not only does that, but is now looking to help others through her poetry and her fundraising.”
Any profits from the book go the Girls Network, which aims to inspire and empower girls from the least advantaged communities by connecting them to a mentor and a network of professional female role models.
Posted on Thursday 8th August 2019