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“I Choose to Smile”

Eno is a young designer from Peckham, who graduated in Printed Textiles at the University of East London in 2010. She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis a week after her 21st birthday. Eno started to experience blurred vision and back pain at first, and then begun missing steps and falling in very public places like down the staircase at Victoria Underground station. At this point, she saw the need to support her walking with a stick but over time the MS is affecting Eno in such a way that the use of a wheelchair is now the only way she can get around.

Eno feels passionately that people with disabilities (in any form) are overlooked, and she has found from her own experience that having a disability can be an incredibly lonely experience.

Eno decided to set up “I Choose to Smile” on a voluntary basis because in her words, “I am alive and I want to share with others the fact that we are no mistake!”

Eno had support with “I Choose to Smile” from Community Catalysts and Community Action Southwark. She has run 2 “I Choose to Smile” gatherings at Southwark Resource Centre and each one has attracted people from Southwark but also from neighbouring boroughs. “I Choose to Smile” was originally aimed at young people with MS but it has been extended to include people of all ages and with a variety of conditions such as Motor Neurone Disease, Arthritis, and Alopecia. The purpose of the group is to educate, support and enable people to socialise. Eventually Eno would like the group to expand to other activities, such as outings and trips, or meals out.