Siraaj attends the Queen’s Garden party!

We had a flying start to 2017, when we found out that Siraaj Nadat, Senior Quality of Life Facilitator at Changing Our Lives, had been recognised in the New Years Honours list.  Siraaj is an experienced and determined team member at Changing Our Lives.  He is an aspirational role model, known nationally as a knowledgeable leader who champions the rights of disabled people not only in a work capacity, but also as a natural part of his day-to-day life.  Siraaj’s passion for his work together with his wicked sense of humour make him a gifted and inspirational speaker – he regularly leads presentations at conferences, and is skilled at challenging the audience’s perception of disability.

Here’s what Siraaj had to say:

After receiving the British Empire Medal honour from the Queen, I was invited to attend the Queen’s Garden Party on 16th May. I could not believe my luck. When I received the invite a little while back, it said that I could take one additional guest. I thought it would be hard to select just one person, but my mum out of sheer excitement, self selected herself!

After an anticipated wait the day finally arrived. Full of excitement, we made our way to London for an amazing and a memorable day. When we got there, we entered from the back entrance which led to the extensive garden and the main lawn.  We spent three hours there to time to soak up the atmosphere.  We were metres away from the royal tea tent, where we had the opportunity to see prominent members of the royal family, such as the queen herself, Prince William, Kate, Prince Charles and Beatrice. There was another tent where guests could go and help themselves to food and tea. Finally we came out from one part of the palace which led to the courtyard. The whole afternoon was a excellent experience of a lifetime and one I will never forget!  I said to my mum, we normally see this on television, but I cannot believe that we are actually here.  Mum was very happy too,  “It was an opportunity of a lifetime,  if it wasn’t for Siraaj I would never have had this experience.   I am so proud of him and all that he has achieved”.

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