I have put this section together as if I was doing a personal interview for you. The questions are personal and probing. They give me the opportunity to tell you a lot about my situation, personality, likes, and dislikes, as well as my hopes and dreams.
This section is really about the heart and longings of a man and his place in life as a person with a physical disability.
Here are the questions and answers about me and my life. The answers are frank, honest, and heart searching. Please do not be put off by my openness.
Describe your physical appearance and personality?
I was born in 1967, (you can do the maths) and I use a powered wheelchair to get around. I am of slim build, with short fair hair, bright blue eyes, glasses, beard and moustache . My personality type is caring, easy going, assertive when needed, intelligent, warm-hearted, and very loving. High self-esteem is important to my personality, has I accept myself completely without any sadness or bitterness regarding my physical disability of cerebral palsy. I love life on the whole, and enjoy it's challenges. This allows me to be very determined to fulfil my dreams.
Does your physical disability of Cerebral Palsy affect the way you speak?
Yes, I have a speech impediment that makes it a little more difficult for someone to understand me until they get used to the way I talk. Basically, I do not pronounce words properly. If there is a lot of background noise, say lots of people talking in a crowded room, it makes it hard for me to be heard. I have a sharp mind and a witty sense of humour, but sometimes I miss opportunities because I am aware that I probably will not be understood and therefore I do not go for it. I am also aware that by not speaking I do not know whether I will be understood or not. I would like to be more bold and take more risks. I love talking to people, preferably in person, but I do not want to give you any surprises by my speech. If you do not understand something I say, just ask me to repeat myself, it is not a problem, and the only thing that will frustrate me is, if you pretend to understand me when you do not. Please do not be put off by my speech because as soon as you get to know me, you will have very little, if any, difficulty in understanding me.
How does your disability effect your day to day life?
Well in many ways I live a perfectly "normal" life just like anyone else. I have my own flat and vehicle, I go on holiday, and have a lie in on a Saturday. Yes, there are things that I can not do for myself, like meals or doing up buttons, but so what. I do employ people to assist me with the things that I am unable to do. So with a little help from a willing heart there is really not much that I am unable to do. The problem is people see the disability and not the person. They see the problems and not the solutions. I am a complete and whole person inside, I want people to get past my physical disability and discover the real me. I have completely accepted my disability and all that goes with it, could you accept it as well?
What type of work do you do and are you still enjoying it? How long have you been in this line of work?
I have worked full-time in the Information Technology Department of the County Council as a Senior PC Analyst. I was there for over fourteen years working in the Research and Development team. My job had two sides to it, developing computer programs for database applications, and evaluating new software packages to see if they should be adopted by the Council as a standard solution. My work was very much project based. A project may last two weeks or two years and the work could vary greatly from one project to the next. On the whole I enjoyed my work, but it became physically too demanding and I had to leave full-time paid work in 2005.
I now keep busy through voluntary work. Up until January 2012 I held the positions of Management Committee Member and Treasurer for over 20 years at Nottingham Independent Venture, an independent living scheme and domiciliary care agency. It was a continual challenge to stay ahead of increasing regulations imposed upon us by our fund providers and Care Standards. In 2007 I was asked to join the Board of Trustees for Mosaic: Shaping Disability Services, and also to become a Company Director of Just Services Ltd: working for justice in health and social welfare. I find this voluntary work both worthwhile and rewarding.
Describe the extent of your involvement in religious activities.
Coming to know the Lord Jesus is the best thing that has ever happened to me. My faith gives me great hope, strength, and comfort. It is something that can never be taken from you, no matter how bad things get, and the knowledge that there is always someone you can call upon is so wonderful and powerful. This is a very important part of my life. I am an active member of Cornerstone Church. I attend every Sunday and I am involved in a home group.
Do you feel you have any specific strengths / gifts as a Christian?
I think my strongest gift is being an encouragement to others. I am a good listener, can keep an open mind, be objective, and give advice and support, when asked, without being judgmental or insensitive. I believe I am also an encouragement to others through my disability, outlook on life, and my achievements.
What is your favourite Hobby or pastime?
I am not a serious collector, but I do have a collection of toy cars from my childhood and a collection of car sales brochures going back to the 1960's. I must admit that I am a bit of a horder, I always think things will come in useful one day, or they will be interesting to look back at in years to come. I enjoy travelling when finances and travelling companions allow.
Where on earth have you never been to that you would like to visit?
I would like to see most parts of the world, but especially I really want to visit Italy, Japan, and spend some time in places like Switzerland, Germany, France, and Belgium. Basically, I just want to see anywhere that has history, culture, and beauty. Travel is just something that I think broadens your horizons, and I just want to see as much of the world as I can.
I have travelled a fair amount already visiting the Greek islands of Kos and Rhodes. Florida to see the Kennedy Space Centre, Disney Land, and Sea World. I have toured Turkey and seen Istanbul, Ankara, and Cappadocia with its monumental rock formations. Visited Spain to see Barcelona, the Pyrenees Mountains, and the Costa-Del-Sol. Also visited Holland including Amsterdam, and Northern Ireland. And there is still so much left to see!
Suppose someone gave you £6 million. What would you do with it?
I would build a small housing estate where all homes were accessible to people with disabilities, sell every other home to the general public and rent out the remainder, to encourage full integration within the community, then set-up a non-profit making organisation to provide care and support in their homes for those residents requiring it. This organisation would be managed by disabled residents, for the benefit of disabled residents. I would undertake such a project and see it as a great challenge. It would give me great satisfaction to research, plan, design, work with consultants, architects, and contractors, and to see people enjoying the finished homes. I may look at starting businesses in the area of public transport for disabled people or mobility products for disabled people. And if I am not too busy doing all this, I would travel the world, or at least have a damned good go at it!
Where were you born and name some of the places you have lived?
I have always lived in England. I was born in Birmingham, where I lived until I was 19 years old, then I spent three years living in Coventry. Ever since then I have lived in Nottingham.
What were your favourite subjects in school? Where did you attend School and / or College?
My favourite subjects in school were computer studies, history, and geography. Computing came naturally to me, and I found history and geography very fascinating subjects. I attended a special school in Birmingham, and a residential college of further education for disabled people in Coventry, then I went on to Nottingham Polytechnic.
Would you rather watch television with a friend or talk?
Depends what is on television. Seriously though, I would rather talk with a friend and have a deep and meaningful conversation, rather than watch television any day of the week. Other than news, documentaries, movies and some drama series like "Casualty" or "Downton Abbey".
What comedians, television shows, or movies match your sense of humour?
The Lethal Weapon movies come to mind, with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, just the way they can laugh at their own impossible and ridiculous situations, and crack jokes with a certain irony when under great pressure. The kind of comedy I enjoy are situation comedies like Steptoe and Son, Fawlty Towers, or Only Fools and Horses.
Do you go to concerts / performances? Name some you have recently attended?
My musical taste is very wide and varied. I have seen Marillion, Phil Colins, and The Gospel According to Cliff Richard. I have been to the Cambridge Folk Festival and enjoy seeing plays at the Theatre. I also enjoy going to the cinema.
What kind of magazines / newspapers / books do you read? Favourite authors?
I am not a great reader as I find it difficult to get comfortable with a book for any length of time, but one novel I have read is Skallagrigg by William Horwood. When I read it I found it quite amazing because I could identify myself in many aspects of the feelings the characters experience. Arthur, a disabled boy in the early twentieth century, and Esther, a young woman in the present with cerebral palsy, search for the elusive, mysterious Skallagrigg. Esther, her two disabled friends and her father go on a journey through rural Britain's institutions for the disabled, looking for pieces of the Skallagrigg legend. As they search, Arthur's harrowing life, seen in flashbacks, and the true meaning of the Skallagrigg become closer and closer. I highly recommend reading this book.
I read the bible obviously and magazines such as Disability Now. In the past I have also subscribe to Individual Homes, a magazine for people who what to design and build their own home. I find it fascinating to see all the different ideas and possibilities, it brings out the creative side in me, if I ever get the opportunity I would have great fun designing and building my own home. These days I read a lot of information on the Internet. I also enjoy audio books when I have the time to listen to them.
Which radio stations do you listen to most often?
When I listen to the radio it tends to be BBC Radio 2 because they play a lot of classic album tracks from the 80's and 90's. I like most of what they play and there is not much chat or corny advertising.
Have you ever accomplished anything that got your name on television, radio, in a magazine, or newspaper? What was it?
I had an article on the front of a local newspaper. I had been presented with a computer system, brought by a local charity, to use for my college work. Unfortunately, the article read something like "Thanks to local charity, Steve can communicate for the first time", which gave completely the wrong message. It made it sound like I spent the previous 19 years of my life living in my own world of silence. In fact, all the computer gave me was the ability to produce written work whenever I needed. That is the media for you.
Which sports do you enjoy participating in or watching?
I am not really into sports, but I enjoy watching snooker and motor rallying. I get into football if it is the Would Cup and England get into the semi-final.
What would you like for your birthday?
I do not mind really, it is the thought that counts. Although, I really hate it when someone buys you something really tacky and cheap, just for the sake of giving you something. I would much rather just have a card which has been bought with a little thought.
Where have you met most of your current friends? If you could choose the ideal friend, what would he/she be like?
Most of my friends I have met either at Cornerstone Church, have worked for me, or simply by a "chance" meeting. Chance, that is if you do not believe that God is in control of who we meet. An ideal friend is someone who will be there for me and let me be there for them. Someone I can trust and who believes through experience that I too can be trusted.
Describe the type of person you might be interested in meeting?
My heart's desire is to share my life with a sincere, loving, Christian person. This special person must feel good about themselves and about life, as well as enthusiastic about a serious, long-term monogamous relationship. Someone with a strong personality, who is caring, sensitive, intelligent, and confident. I am praying for a partner and loving companion who is fun, adventurous, courageous, and truly excited about life and a beautiful relationship with one man. This person should be willing to give and receive love, within a nurturing long-term relationship, based upon Christian values. It is very important to me that this person is able to accept completely my disability and all that goes with it. Physically I would prefer a partner who is comfortable with their body and has a healthy interest in their appearance. What is important, is what the person looks like on the inside rather than on the outside. Any intelligent, kind-hearted person who is truly excited about love and a beautiful relationship would bring joy into my life. I hope I could return such qualities into their life to make our relationship meaningful, allowing us to become totally fulfilled with a deep love for life and for each other.
Would you marry a non-Christian?
I believe it may cause too many divisions because of different values and beliefs. I believe that a marriage between two Christian believers is much stronger because it is taken more seriously and there are three members in the marriage, God, a man, and a woman. I believe marriage is for life, death do us part. I also could not imagine loving someone deeply, yet knowing their eternal future is uncertain.
What personality types and habits of others really irritate you?
Most people find me really easy going, but there are a few things that I dislike or irritate me. For instance, I do not think I could have a close relationship with a smoker, or heavy drinker. I do not like anybody who cannot keep their word, people who are untrustworthy or unreliable, women who wear loads of make-up, or people who are always late for every single thing they do.
What characteristics are 'sexy' or attractive to you in another person?
Sexy means having a knowing compatibility where you respect each other and can communicate by a knowing glance. Above all, being sexy means attempting to live in harmony and companionship so that both partners can always explore and challenge each other so as to keep the relationship fresh and full of vitality. Here, communication is of vital importance. Part of this should include being direct and openly telling one's lover what makes you feel good, sharing deep personal intimate experiences, and always being willing to laugh as well as cry together. I long for the day when I can enter into such a deep personal intimate relationship.
What would be a perfect first date?
A perfect date for me would be to meet the right person and look deep in their eyes so that we would both know from the beginning that we were both right for each other. I believe that love at first sight can happen. To find it would be heavenly. Any date where we both enjoy someone's company is truly worthwhile and rewarding.
Any additional comments?
I sincerely hope that anyone who contacts me will be seriously looking for a dynamic, vibrant, long-term loving relationship with someone unusual, who will want to help them bring out their full potential. My dream is that they will be special people looking for true love and long lasting commitment. Do not be put off if this sounds all a bit too heavy to start a relationship, because I just wanted you to know what my desires are, and then if you contact me, we can take it day by day and see what happens. This website has taken me a long time to prepare, so that the information could bless people' s lives, and give them relevant interesting facts about myself. It is my deepest prayer that God will use this website to let me contact the right person for life. Lets pray we meet soon. Thank you for taking the time to read this page to learn something about myself. I'm looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you.
Updated: August 2012.