Ciara on rugby and restrictions

This March we catch up with Head2Head trustee and disability advocate, Ciara Lawrence, to find out how she secured an interview with Will Greenwood MBE, Rugby Union player, how she feels about COVID restrictions easing and what she looks forward to most for the rest of 2022. 

How did you get in touch with Will Greenwood? 

Last year when I started my podcast, as a disability advocate, I wanted to hear from lots of different interesting people. I got in touch with Will through social media and then I emailed him my details and information about me and he said he would do it. Naturally I was over the moon. 

Why did you choose to interview him?    

Growing up I wasn’t into sport, but when I started to think about the kind of guests I wanted for my podcast, i thought it would be good to include people of many backgrounds.  I wanted campaigners, actors, singers and journalists and then I decided to choose some sports people and Will was on my top list of rugby players.   

What was the most interesting find from the podcast interview?   

I was surprised and excited to hear that he knew a bit about disability and neuro-disability.  I also helped him to understand what life is like for people with a learning disability. 

Do you like Rugby?  have you ever played? 

I’m not very sporty at all.  I have never played rugby.  I did however practice sports at school like rounders, swimming, hockey, netball and athletics.  I sometimes do watch rugby. My mum is from Ireland and my dad is from Wales and I was born in the UK so I have to be fair and cheer for all 3 teams!  

What else have you been up to this February?  

This February I have been busy working hard as Big Plan Engagement Lead at Mencap getting my teeth into some great projects which are part of our fantastic Big Plan!  

The UK is opening up again and restrictions are easing. How does it make you feel? 

Personally, I think it is the wrong timing to end the rules because Covid hasn’t gone away. I’m still a bit nervous of the rules and restrictions ending. I am hoping there won’t be another outbreak this year as I don’t want to be stuck in a lockdown again. The last 2 years have been especially hard for people with a learning disability like me. We had to stay at home for a long time and we had to get support to understand the rules and guidance because the Government didn’t make any accessible or easy read guides in the beginning of the Covid pandemic. 

What do you look forward to for the rest of 2022? 

I am looking forward to going on some lovely theatre trips this year. I will be seeing shows like Footloose and Joseph so I’m very excited about them. I hope to get myself along to some of Head2Head’s performances too!  

Listen in to Ciara’s chat with Will Greenwood MBE on her podcast