A new lifestyle website and blog, based out of C4DI in Hull aims to help end the stigma around mental health and disability.
Wobbling About And Rocking Out (WARO) was developed by Hull-born disabled entrepreneur, Dom Smith who has Cerebral Palsy – the idea was developed during his time working for The Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship at MIT in Boston, Massachusetts, and has since taken shape following Dom’s move back to Hull, for the first time in over ten years after a period spent working in Manchester and York, and a stint working as a freelance journalist (and Storyteller In Residence) in America.
Dom now hopes to use his contacts across the disability sector, through the business he co-founded, Disabled Entrepreneurs (a project that offers free advice and support to disabled people who want to start their own business), and in the music, arts and entertainment sector (via Soundsphere, an alternative music blog covering local, national and international artists) to tell inspiring and motivational stories. The end goal is to motivate people with disabilities and mental health issues considering careers in the creative sector, as well as other industries where possible.
“The original plan was for it to just be a clothing line with a cool logo and imagery,” comments Dom. “I wanted to amalgamate everything I’d done with Soundsphere and Disabled Entrepreneurs to create a resource where people could go, and find out information, ways of coping and also read about inspiring individuals from a range of career backgrounds – in music, or the arts, principally but not exclusively – who have achieved despite a range of challenges.”
The aim of the site is to first generate content via members of the public in Hull, and the surrounding areas before starting to speak to internationally acclaimed bands, creatives, businesses and artists about the stigma behind mental health and/or disability and how they have combatted that themselves.
“I hope that we can spread the message through collaborations with Hull’s young people, as well as amazing spaces like C4DI and The Warren Youth Project, before taking the whole thing global.”
Content is currently being added to WARO’s new website which was built at C4DI in collaboration with Mattix Design, and branded by Hull artist Jessica Eleanor Zchorn (Jesse Zee Creative), at: www.waro.co.uk.
If you would like to submit your own inspiring story, you can do so via the site’s Get In Touch page. For more information you can also visit: https://twitter.com/wobbleandrock