Tom Yendell An Inspirational Gentleman

Jan Leeming

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Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

TOM YENDELL - An inspirational gentleman

Date: 19th October 2015

TOM YENDELL – An inspirational gentleman

I was giving a Talk recently at a Rotary Conference in Bristol and was introduced to Tom Yendell. Rotary undertake an enormous amount of good work supporting various Charities and Initiatives. One of these is the new Flatspace concept inspired by Tom.

Tom is a thalidomide child, born with no arms, but he doesn’t let that stop him doing a great deal more than many of we able bodied people. Not only is he a guiding light in the Foot & Mouth Painting Artists Association but his new brainchild is a fully equipped Holiday Home for the disabled. Tom constructed his own home and adapted it from a Flatpack. Then he thought further and decided that disabled people often don’t go on holidays because there are not the facilities which they require. So what did he do – he ordered a Flatpack Home and had it modified totally to accommodate even those with the most extreme handicaps – a £5000 toilet which washes and dries (think about it!) grab rails, hoists, wide doors which allow bed bound people to be wheeled onto the patio to enjoy the open air, tables and kitchen surfaces which can be raised and lowered according to the needs of the user. He has called the project ‘Flatspace’ and would like to see a building like this in every county so that the disabled could holiday all over the country.

I stayed on to hear Tom’s address and he had us all laughing and crying – well I was at the end. He pulls fun at himself and ‘self pity’ is not part of his lexicon. He had to fill for a minute before the next speaker and announced that those of us with arms waste a lot of money and material on sleeves!!!! He uses his feet just like you and I use our hands. And at an exhibition recently, a young boy asked for Tom’s autograph. Tom does little cartoons and then signs his name – with his foot of course. The young boy thanked him, walked away and then came back and said ‘You are unique’. Tom doesn’t like the label ‘disabled’ so he now refers to himself and others as Unique.

This is Tom and yours truly.

TOM YENDELL - An inspirational gentleman

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