At the start of the summer a formal looking envelope popped through the castle letterbox. I opened it with curiosity, unsure what to expect: it’s content blew me away.
It was a letter from the University of Wolverhampton saying they’d like to award me an honorary degree of “Doctor of Letters” in recognition of my work with Touretteshero.
This morning I travelled to Wolverhampton to be presented with the degree and to address students graduating from the school of Education, Health and Wellbeing.
In my address I explained how Touretteshero had only come about because of a conversation I had with Leftwing Idiot that transformed how I thought about my tics. He changed my life with a single sentence, and I now believe that every conversation, question, or shared laugh has the potential to create change.
I also shared the biggest lesson that six years of Touretteshero’s taught me: if something isn’t working I can change it. That’s not because I have any special qualities, or super powers – it’s because we all have the ability to create change.
I was deeply grateful to have been recognised in this way, touched by the university’s warm and nurturing environment, and encouraged by the passion of the staff and students I met.
And I got to dress up like Henry the Eighth too!