Story of success and determination

Alan Counsell
Alan Counsell

A MAN with brain damage who battled the odds stacked against him has written a book about his life and the prejudices he faced.

Alan Counsell has written an autobiography about his triumphs and the troubles he faced working as a trainer for the disabled.

The 74-year-old, who struggles with his speech, tells how many people did not believe he could do his job as well as somebody without a disability.

He said: “It is really a personal success story in living with and overcoming barriers imposed by society towards disability.

“It’s the story of how I attained academic qualifications and succeeded in the competitive world of employment in the health, social and education sectors.

“Although my brain was damaged there was never anything wrong with my intellect but I had a long, lonesome fight to prove this.”

Alan’s wife Kathleen, who often went along to training sessions, said despite having a very good reputation in the industry, her husband was often met with prejudice.

“We could get to a training venue or hotel and people would say ‘you are the trainer? How can you be?’” she said.

Mr Counsell, of Smeath Road, Underwood, said it was determination that got him through everything.

“Through determination I learned to walk and to speak and I have developed and succeeded despite the expectations of others.

“The book also contains an account of setting up my own training business and of some of the interesting people I’ve met,” he added.

“I am amazed at how rewarding my life has been and I hope my story will inspire others to dare to live as an individual and dare to be different and follow and achieve their dreams.”

Mr Counsell wrote his first autobiography 30 years ago about growing up with Cerebral Palsy and brain damage.

He worked for 20 years training the disabled and employers of the disabled on subjects including the disability act legislation which makes employers treat workers with disabilities as equals.

Mrs Counsell put her husband’s successful career down to his ‘wicked sense of humour’ and using it to get the message across in his training.

After complications at birth causing a lack of oxygen, doctors told Mr Counsell’s parents that he would not live past ten-years-old and would never walk, talk or be capable of eating.

Mr Counsell launched his book, called ‘We’ll Show Them’ at an event in Mansfield last Friday, attended by nearly 100 people.

Buy the book online at amazon or WH Smiths.