Lorraine Stanley, Founder and CEO of SWAD, and Chamber member, has been nominated for the “Positive Role Model Award for Disability” run by the National Diversity Awards. Also known as “Your Friendly Neighbourhood Sex Goddess”, Lorraine created the UK’s first “Sex & Intimacy Card”, and has just published her first ebook : “Sexual Health Clinics & Disabled People – A Guide for Better Access”.
Lorraine’s lived experience includes being a young carer, parent carer and family carer of loved ones with conditions ranging from diabetes to dementia. As an adult she was diagnosed with Autism, and has lived with managing bouts of clinical depression since she was a teenager. She is a wheelchair user due to ME & Fibromyalgia.
Despite these challenges, Lorraine set up SWAD (Sex With A Difference), which is a not- for- profit training organisation specialising in the area of disability and sex. Mostly working from her office bed, with her computer monitor suspended overhead, Lorraine is able to support people locally, nationally and internationally by providing training (virtual and in-person), mentoring and signposting to appropriate services. Her purple sparkly wheelchair with on-brand hubcaps (yes, really!) enables her to deliver training and keynote speeches in the wider world.
Quite apart from the subject of sex, Lorraine also uses her knowledge and influence of disability matters to improve accessibility within the business community. This is to businesses providing inclusive services to the public, business to business services, and also increasing employment opportunities. She speaks eloquently about the “Purple Pound” (the buying power of disabled people). and Changing Places toilet facilities (they are larger facilities that have the right equipment, including a changing bench and a hoist, designed to support disabled people who need assistance).
Lorraine’s activism for the above, and her own “Better Access for Better Access” campaign, are the final pieces of the picture as to why she was nominated for the Positive Role Model award.
When asked how she felt about her nomination, Lorraine said: “This means a lot to me, both personally and professionally. I do what I do because these are subjects I am passionate about, and I have a skill set that helps to amplify key messages around disability and accessibility. Simply being nominated means that more people will become aware of our work, but if I win the category award it would be a fantastic boost to our efforts. We are a micro-sized, grassroots organisation, with a budget to match. The publicity from winning the award would be spectacular, and the more people know we exist – the more people we can help!”
If you would like to vote for Lorraine, please go to this link: https://www.nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/awards-2023/nominations/lorraine-stanley/
Voting closes on 12 May, but it only takes a few seconds.