Writtle graduate supports girls and women with disabilities

November 2022

Image for press release - Three people in matching grey tops stand in front of Writtle University College's ivy-covered main building

If you've looked at social media recently, or switched on the radio, you'll have heard of This Girl's Ability, a new community company making a splash in the sports sector.

The non-profit organisation was founded by Writtle University College graduate Nikki Fairbairn and works to provide opportunities to girls and young women with disabilities.

Based in Essex and the London Borough of Havering, it offers an exciting range of activities, including creative hobbies, access to sport, volunteering opportunities and workshops.

This Girl's Ability works to tackle loneliness, assist in the prevention and management of poor mental health, and enhance physical wellbeing.

22-year-old Georgie Hart is the company's Director and Community Ambassador. She said: "Growing up as a disabled girl was hard at times, but I never let this stop me!"

Georgie met Nikki while attending a local programme. "When I was younger I didn't have many female friends because the clubs I went to were very boy-run and didn't engage girls," she said. "I wish I'd had something like this. Not every girl likes the same things, so we offer sport, art, drama, trips and a pop culture club with fashion, film, and books."

Nikki and Georgie are joined by Nikki's daughter, Zoe, who has an FA introduction to coaching certificate and three years' experience working at a local charity for children and young adults with disabilities.

Nikki, Georgie, and Zoe recognised the need for more groups for young women. Nikki said: "I hope This Girl's Ability is helping to make our community more inclusive. I learn from the children and young adults I work with each week, and I feel privileged to see their developments and their achievements."

Nikki has been committed to promoting equal access to sport since joining Writtle University College as a mature student. She quickly progressed from voluntary to paid roles with her local council and continued within the sector after gaining a first-class honours degree in BSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science in 2019.

Earlier this year, Zoe was awarded a first-class degree in mathematics. She'll be putting her knowledge into practice as the charity's Financial Director. She said: "I'm excited to use my new skills to seek funding, analyse data and keep financial records. I'm always thinking of ways to make sports sessions more inclusive and to ensure all young people experience the rewards of being part of a team."

This Girl's Ability hopes to continue changing lives in Essex and Havering and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to continued its work. The funds will help to empower members, encourage meaningful friendships, and enhance physical and mental wellbeing.

For more information or to donate, click here.