Claire Beattie

Cumbria Women of the Year 2013 Winner

Highly motivated young woman with a positive attitude to life wins Cumbria Women Of The Year Award

An inspirational young woman from Carlisle with an unbridled enthusiasm for life and living has been awarded the Cumbria Woman of the Year Award for 2013.

Carlisle’s Claire Beattie, aged 30, was a remarkable candidate for the award, which recognises exceptional women of all ages and from all walks of life.

Claire is undoubtedly an exceptional young lady, who inspires others on a daily basis, particularly the children in her care at two schools in Carlisle and those in her riding class at the Riding for the Disabled Association in Carlisle. In an age where role models for children are few and far between, Claire is a shining example of how children can be inspired by those who guide their progress and practise what they preach.

In Claire’s case, her message to young people is that they should never give up and should always “do your best, regardless of what challenges you may face.” Hers is a powerful message as she herself suffers from cerebral palsy and has had to overcome her own co-ordination and movement issues. Despite this, she has an extremely active life, riding being a key feature.

Claire is an integral part of the RDA group at the Blackdyke Riding Centre in Carlisle, where she helps disabled children learn to ride and tackle their own personal challenges, in exactly the same way as she herself has done.  She also works as a teaching assistant at the Bishop Harvey Goodwin School and Raughton Head School in Carlisle, helping four disabled children and one with cerebral palsy. Her message to all of the children she inspires is that practice makes perfect and giving up is not an option.  Claire was not imbued with automatic self-confidence but has built it herself, brick by brick, with determination and focus.  Riding has been pivotal to that and she also has a great support network of family and friends. Having always been treated in the same way as her sister, she followed the same path, with both now working in education.

One thing that has always been apparent is her indomitable spirit. At the age of 13 Claire won a National Child of Achievement Award. Since then, she has continuously challenged herself to succeed, in site of the frustration of needing to use a straw for drinking and wearing a splint to control her balance and movement.

When not riding, teaching or leading a normal social life, Claire can be found at Zumba, at the gym and at Pilates class. Nothing stops her from leading the life she wishes to lead, making her a shining example for the children who are lucky enough to encounter her.

Speaking on behalf of the Cumbria Women of the Year judges, Chairman Tess Hart MBE says “Claire is an exceptional young woman and a fabulous role model for both disabled and able-bodied children who face a variety of issues that they need to overcome. She is living proof that you do not have to reach a certain age before you start giving, encouraging and motivating others. She is a young woman who oozes a passion for life and who focuses on what she can do to make a difference, rather than on what she can’t do. We can all follow her example and learn much from her truly positive attitude to life.”


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