Kate's American dream - funding makes it a reality

27 Mar 19
Grand Canyon

Not long before I graduated, I started planning an epic adventure of grand proportions. A road trip across America. I’d always wanted to go to America and after graduation seemed like the perfect time. I knew it wouldn’t be easy so I took the opportunity to use my trip to demonstrate the difficulties of disabled travellers through social media.

My course at Winchester gave me the organisational skills, communication skills and patience to pull this off and taught me that perseverance and attention to detail was key to achieving the best possible outcome.

One of the many obstacles that I needed to deal with was how I was going to fund the trip. Due to my disability, having a regular job isn’t very feasible therefore I needed to think of other ways to raise the money. I had to not only pay for myself but for the carers who came with me, special equipment and an accessible vehicle to drive in America.

This is where the Winton Benevolent Fund came in.

I applied to the Winton Benevolent Fund explaining that this trip, as well as being an adventure for me, was a chance to show that people with my level of disability can and do want to travel and to encourage people to pursue their ambitions. The Winton Benevolent Fund very kindly granted me £400. This money helped me fund some of the cost of my carer’s flights and accommodation.

After two years of planning and fundraising, on 17 April 2018 I began my 49-day adventure across America, starting in California and finishing in New York. This trip, apart from making me want to travel more, has made me realise that no matter your situation in life you should always try to achieve your dreams.

It’s a cliché thing to say, but we’ve only got one guaranteed shot at this life so you have to make the most of it, right?

As well as posting on social media, during the whole trip we were filming for a documentary that my friend and I are now putting together, highlighting all aspects of my trip. It is our hope that this documentary will illustrate to the public and the travel industry that though it is possible for people with disabilities to travel there is so much more that needs to be done to make it more affordable and achievable.

Can you help someone’s dream become a reality, so they can go out and make a difference in the world? The Winton Benevolent Fund welcomes donations – 100 per cent of your contribution goes towards helping students or alumni in times of hardship. Contact us by email to alumni@winchester.ac.uk to find out how to donate.


This article originally appeared in the spring 2019 issue of Venta, our alumni magazine.

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