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April 2011



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Fri, Apr 15, 2011

Teenager Jessie overcomes disabilities to run business

IT’S impressive enough that a 20-year-old has their own successful business.

But when you consider that Jessie Carter-Kay, from West Bridgford, also has a range of learning disabilities, including autism and dyspraxia, it’s even more remarkable.

“Jessie has demonstrated that having a learning disability is not a barrier to success,” said her father, Peter Kay, who has nominated Jessie for an Outstanding Achievement Award for 4Uth.

“Even though she has a lot of support because of her difficulties, Jessie has achieved a lot for her age.”

Jessie and her mother, Jill, set up the Pulp Friction Smoothie Bar project in 2008.

They travel to community events on a bike with a pedal-powered blender on the back and create smoothies.

They started with one bike, but the business has now expanded to seven bikes and has seen them travel around the country.

Mr Kay said it is also an opportunity to offer other people with learning disabilities vital work experience.

“It has really taken off – people like the idea and like what we do – and it’s now at the stage where Jessie will be director of her own successful community interest company,” he said.

Jessie, who attended Foxwood School in Bramcote, said: “I like that the smoothie bar gives me more independence. I like cleaning and making everything tidy.”

The family is now setting up an allotment in Stapleford, where young people with learning disabilities can gain work experience growing fruit to use on the smoothie bikes.

Jessie has also been involved in a number of community projects and has worked with Broxtowe Borough council and the UK Youth Council, including helping to create a DVD about personal safety for young disabled people. She also spoke at a conference at Nottingham Trent University on education and disability.

As a nominee for the first ever Notts 4Uth Awards, run by the Nottingham Post and Notts County Council, Jessie is now in with a chance of winning £250 of vouchers of her choice.

The awards, which will culminate in a ceremony at County Hall on September 30, celebrate teenagers and young people in the county who have made outstanding achievements.

Jessie said: “I am really happy. It is nice to be nominated and I am very excited.”



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