How we started

an introduction from our Co-Founder and CEO, James Brown

Mobiloo began its remarkable  journey in 2015.  Just a few years in and already we are changing the lives of over two thousand disabled people (plus their families and friends) every year. I predict that, in 5 years, there will be a Mobiloo presence in at least ten countries and It will be unthinkable not to provide toilets for everyone at public venues and events.

Why am I so committed to making this a reality? Because a single experience changed me, it changed my life and every day it drives me to create a better life for others.

A nine-year-old blind child driving on a race track

I owe a lot to one man, Dr David Peacock.  I was born in with only 5% sight, my early childhood was spent away from home at a special school.  In a city and at a time when sectarian conflict was rife, the security of home felt a long way away.  School was very tough and I found it hard to cope.  As I lay in my ‘sick’ bed, again, Dr Peacock recognised an unhappy, withdrawn young boy.  My prescription: a distraction from the harsh environment at school.  The medicine: driving around the local motor racing circuit at Kirkistown!  From that moment, I didn’t look back.  The impact on my self-esteem was immediate.  From that day on my life has been all about seizing opportunities, even if I don’t know quite where they will lead.

First Mobiloo user at Paws in the Park – 3 August 2014

A legacy for years to come

In 2010 I started Active Impact, a Gloucestershire-based community interest company, providing life-changing opportunities for disabled children and young people.  I want to help others to experience the transformational impact of challenging themselves to go beyond expectations.  Somehow Dr. Peacock saw no issue with a nine-year-old blind child driving on a race track, so I see no reason why a young person who can’t use the loo without assistance shouldn’t have similar opportunities and experiences to me.

Changing the conversation, expectations and experiences for those living with a disability will be the legacy of Mobiloo and all who join our journey; a small contribution to a significant social change.

My drive, ambition and belief began at a young age and supported me throughout my career as a Paralympic athlete.  Even then I knew that the conversation and expectations had to change.

Far from being an obstacle, my disability has enabled me to achieve things I once might have thought impossible.  To be in a position to give that gift to others is an honour.

We will look back upon this time and ask ourselves how we got away with not meeting a most basic human need.

It’s far from a one-man crusade, I am surrounded by others with the belief and ability to match my own. We’re collaborative and believe in the power of teamwork – and naturally, we’re inclusive.  Together we are a vehicle for change.

 

James Brown
Co-Founder & CEO

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