Back to The Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List 2018

Jess Hiles

Category: Changing communities

Jess has a learning disability as well as impaired sight and physical disabilities...Jess wants nothing more than to help others.

Jess the Goth Fairy

Having published a series of children’s books about ‘Jess the Goth Fairy’, Jess and her mum Jo have become well-known authors.

Selling at local shops, online and via Amazon, their books are a proven hit with children.

‘Jess the goth fairy’ shows that we are all different and that everyone should be treated equally. By sharing her feelings in these books she hopes people will better understand what it’s like to be disabled and hopes the books will help everyone, able or disabled, realise that it is okay to be different, as we are all the same inside.

Jess Changing communities LDA Leaders' List 2018

Jess has a learning disability as well as some impaired sight and physical disabilities, but despite this, Jess wants nothing more than to help others, especially those less able than herself.

She performs regular readings of the books at schools and libraries with the support of her mum. In addition, for each book sale they make, Jess makes a donation MacIntyre, the people who support her to live independently.

Raising awareness of Dementia

Recently Jess’ Nan lived with dementia which Jess found very difficult. This experience inspired Jess to produce another book titled “She’s still my nan”. Jess hopes this book will help everyone understand a little more about dementia.

But Jess hasn’t stopped there, she became a Dementia Friend, giving talks in schools about dementia as well as to local NHS services.

Jess Changing communities LDA Leaders' List 2018

In 2017 MacIntyre’s Dementia Project team invited Jess and her mother Jo to present at the UK Dementia Congress about the effect her Nan’s dementia had on her. They were subsequently invited to speak at a bereavement conference in Bradford in the summer of 2018.

Local advocacy

Jess is also involved with Worcestershire People’s Parliament, where she speaks on issues that affect adults with learning disabilities and autism across Worcestershire, and Safe Places Shropshire.

In July, Jess was one of seven winners to be honoured with a plaque at The Hive in Worcester as part of the RespectAbility Project which recognises achievements in politics, art, fundraising, sport, publishing books, leadership, independence and employment.

Jess Changing communities LDA Leaders' List 2018

Raising awareness

Jess has undertaken a number challenges and fundraising initiatives for charity – supporting MacIntyre, Guide Dogs for the Blind and Shropshire Disability Network.

Sporting Achievements

What’s more, Jess is member of the West Midlands Boccia team, most recently winning bronze in the pairs, and coming fifth in the singles at the 2018 Special Olympics held in Scotland.

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