Friday, 7 March 2014

Spirit of Salford

I was recently contacted by the Spirit of Salford campaign, after posting my photo on their Facebook page. I wasn't originally going to post my photo as I didn't think I was worthy enough to be part of the campaign, but my mum convinced me otherwise!

They tried to contact me after seeing my interview on Granada Reports and ITV News, and even the Mayor of Salford had read about me in the Salford Advertiser and Manchester Evening News, but unfortunately they had trouble getting my details from the RNIB.

We're now finally in touch, and an article was posted about me on the Spirit of Salford website today!

Young Illustrator

Blind Kimberley Burrows has shown the Spirit of Salford by being named the Young Illustrator of the Year. The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) recognised the brave 25-year-old from Irlam because of her determination and skill.

Kimberley is pursuing a career in illustration despite being completely blind in one eye and only being able to focus for a few minutes in the other. Some of her charming cartoon-style pieces can take months to complete - she can only work for 20 minutes at a time because of the strain on her eye.

Kimberley's dream of turning her passion into a career may soon be realised - she has already been commissioned to create a special drawing of Paddington Bear for its creator Michael Bond.

She is also studying Braille, as well as arts and crafts at Henshaws Society for Bind People.

Salford City Mayor, Ian Stewart said: "Kimberley is an inspirational young woman who creates beautiful illustrations which are being recognised nationally. We're extremely proud of her. She sums up everything about the Spirit of Salford - passionate, determined and creative. I sincerely hope she gets to follow her dream and study fine art at the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford."

Kimberley said: "I'm extremely pleased to become the Young Illustrator of the Year and win this prized national award. As a Salfordian born and bred here, I'm very proud to represent my home city. People have been so kind and supportive to me - when the City Mayor 'tweeted' his congratulations to me the other day, I was made up. It made my week!

I now can't wait for the Spirit of Salford Weekender at the end of May - it sounds really exciting."

You can read my story on the Spirit of Salford website by clicking here.

As mentioned in the article above, I've had a few lovely tweets from the Mayor of Salford, Ian Stewart!  Here are his messages:

I'm extremely honoured that the Mayor of Salford has tweeted me! His support and kind words mean the world to me, and I can't wait to hopefully meet him at the weekend festival in May!