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My Very Odd Request


Dear Sir/Madam/Person who gave me this ticket,

I am writing to you to challenge the above notice, and in doing so, I hope to not only be let off the hook, but I also will endeavour to make your day a little brighter. (I can imagine the parking ticket industry can be a tad dull at times).

In all honesty, I have no valid reason to challenge the ticket. You are right, I didn’t get a permit, so at 12:58pm on Tuesday 6th February 2019, my vehicle was parked in Festival Car Park, Skegness, illegally. As you may or may not have seen, I have a Blue Badge, but for the first time in my life, I’m not going to use that as an excuse. I’m 90% sure there would’ve been rules, regulations and restrictions with regards to disabled folks on the signpost that I failed to pay attention to. I could also use the ‘visual impairment’ card, however, I think even someone who is as blind as me would be able to see a 7ft sign. Like I say, you are well within your rights to fine me.

You’re really confused, aren’t you? Is this the first ‘challenge’ you’ve received whereby someone has held up a white flag without a fight? Well, the real reason behind me writing to you is to tell you what I was doing there to begin with, and then maybe we can come to some arrangement. But first I need to set the scene, so, sit back, relax, grab a cuppa and let me tell you a story.

My name is Jo, I’m 25-years-old and I have quadriplegic cerebral palsy. If you don’t know what that is then it’s basically a very long-winded way of saying that when I was born my brain was starved of oxygen. This has resulted in me being a full-time wheelchair user due to my wonky legs and dysfunctional left arm. Please don’t bring out the violins though, because I’m cool with it. Everyone is dealt their cards for a purpose and it’s their choice how they play them, but for me, it’s about winning the game.

Anyway, for a long time, I was kinda lost; a lot of shit had happened, and I didn’t really know what I was doing with my life. That was until I got back to my roots and started writing again. I realised my ability to string a sentence together combined with a desire to make a difference in the world of disability, could be turned into something unique. In the past six months my blogging website, Written Wheel, has taken over my life in the best way possible. Twice a week, I ramble about my experiences as a disabled person; this can be anything from how systems need to be changed in order to live in a more integrational society, to a letter to God, asking him to explain the meaning of life, to a blog about a parking ticket…Yes, you are a huge part of tonight’s instalment as I attempt to kill two birds with one stone.

As you’ve probably gathered by now, I’m a talker with brutally honest opinions and from what I’m told, a wicked sense of humour. But in October, I decided to practice what I preach a little more. I began training under the watchful and expert eye of Lee Johnston at Elite Fit, Skegness. I wanted to get fitter; thus, proving to myself and others that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. I’ve gradually been increasing my strength to the point where pretty soon I’m sure I’ll be able to do the can-can – complete with jazz hands.

Fast forward to January, and I published a crazy New Year’s Resolution list with the help of my followers, the Written Wheelies. There were goals on the itinerary which covered a broad spectrum, but the ones I’m most keen to tell you about are the charity fundraisers. I promised to throw a Ball and do a sponsored walk in aid of two very worthy causes.

This brings me, not very succinctly, onto why I was parked in Skegness without permission. I spent Monday afternoon training and teaching my legs, yet again, how to walk properly. Then yesterday, Lee and I walked half a mile along the pier, which is the furthest I’ve ever gone. I’ve always been the type of person to set goals, achieve them and move on to something bigger and better. When I don’t have a mission, I go slightly insane. As I’ve mentioned though, this time the mission isn’t just mine.

On Sunday 12th May 2019, I’ll be embarking on a 1.2-mile ‘trek’ around Whisby Nature Park to raise money for the Samaritans who are consistently there for people in their hour of need. The second beneficiary is Lincoln Drill Hall; a totally inclusive theatre that is passionate about nurturing and showcasing talent, regardless of ability. You may think these are two very random and unrelated charities to be part of the same fundraisers, but in their own ways, they both do an amazing job of ensuring people are seen, heard and valued. FYI, the Ball will be held on the Saturday 9th November if you’d like to attend. Keep an eye on the Written Wheel website for further information.

So, there you go. That’s all you need to know. And I guess my very odd request is if you would be so kind as to waive the charge, I will split the cost of the fine between the two charities. Alternatively, would you donate this yourself?

Many thanks for sticking with this until the end, and I’ll look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Kind regards,

Jo Tolley

9 comments (Add your own)

1 Marilyn Langfield - Wed, February 6, 2019 @ 7:34 PM

Well said Jo! I'll donate £20 if you get a reply from Skegness! Love you
Mal xx
[email protected] Wheel - Wed, February 6, 2019 @ 8:08 PM
Thank you. Love you too. Xx
2 Bryony Orrell - Wed, February 6, 2019 @ 8:03 PM

If they refuse your very odd request, you must send them some complimentary Horlicks with your fine! Xxx
3 Tony Atkins - Wed, February 6, 2019 @ 8:05 PM

I'll match the£20.00 if you do, as well
[email protected] Wheel - Wed, February 6, 2019 @ 8:09 PM
Thank you. That’s very much appreciated.
jan Kirk - Wed, February 6, 2019 @ 8:52 PM
We need more people like you Jo to support people with disabilities !...Ells listened to you today as you could talk to her honestly,knowing what it is like to live in the real tough world,with the difficulties that you were born with.You have shown her how you work to your strengths...you have found your strengths...many others need help to do this!
I truelly hope that the Skegness council give you credit for the amazing young lady that you are,and drop the parking charge ....Xx
[email protected] Wheel - Wed, February 6, 2019 @ 10:05 PM
Thank you so much. In short, all I really want to do is make a difference, as corny as it sounds. So I’m glad I could help Ells. Xx
4 Gill vashak - Sun, February 24, 2019 @ 6:40 PM

Yes count me in for £20. Remember right leg left leg...that's my right not yours🙈
[email protected] Wheel - Thu, March 7, 2019 @ 10:43 AM
Hahaha. Only just seen this. Made me laugh out loud.
Thank you so much ❤️

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