Meet the team
Charles & Jo are parents to Kit (14) and Oliver (12). Kit suffered a brain injury at birth resulting in quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. We have lived experience of the accessibility challenges faced when going on holiday or short breaks.
Jo, 49 (very nearly 50!)
Mother, wife, homemaker, chief organiser, head of staff, fun planner, dog walker, case manager, parent carer, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, dietician, nurse, Cerebral Palsy expert, HR, teacher, SENCo, IT manager, diary manager, researcher, payroll clerk and Co-Founder of AbleStay. Yes, that’s all in one day!
Becoming a parent put my life on a trajectory one could never have anticipated. Our first born son Kit, made a stormy entrance into the world and it was touch and go for a while. We had 'that' meeting and were told to prepare for the worst. Kit miraculously survived. However, he suffered severe brain damage resulting in quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy.
Understandably this had a seismic impact. After the blur of the early years, I grew in strength and understanding. My boys are a source of huge pride and joy, they fuel my energy tanks, fill my heart and motherhood has given me inner strength, resilience, tolerance and empathy.
The time feels right to turn our own life experience into something truly positive for others.
It is that growth, knowledge and understanding that has now enabled ‘AbleStay’.
Strengths: Confident, punctual and organised person. Assertive and loves working especially when I’m passionate about something – disability and accessibility!
Grateful for: Family, health and our animals
Loves: Snuggles with my boys, singing, being dramatic (apparently!), organising surprises, a crisp gin and tonic, peanut butter and skiing.
Dislikes: Lazy people, bad manners, spiders and tomatoes
Life Mantra: ‘You have to climb the mountain to see the view’
In the words of Maximus Decimus Meridius, ‘I am father to four sons, husband to an incredible wife and I will have my revenge’!
Or rather, ‘I now have’ the opportunity to change stuff.
After 12 years as an Army Officer, I left to join the corporate world before setting up my own company in corporate event management, and more recently helping SME’s develop their path to growth.
In 2020, I had an epiphany and dramatically changed my career to pursue our dream of AbleStay.
Through my experience with our son Kit, I was shocked at the glaring hole in accessible accommodation in the UK, especially London. So I thought why not give this is a go and actually focus my efforts on something truly worthwhile and life changing for others.
This is what makes me spring out of bed every morning.
Strengths: Communication & leadership
Loves: Cooking, cheese, wine, good ale, skiing and most importantly, riding motorcycles.
What annoys my wife about me: Not being as tidy as she is! Edit by Jo - everything!
Life Mantra: ‘If you build it, they will come’ – Field of Dreams 1989
Strengths: Pragmatic, measured, calm and kind
Loves: Family, friends, rugby, cricket skiing and a couple of beers!
Dislikes: Collecting washing!
Life Mantra: 'Be the change you want to see in the world'
Good luck with this fantastic venture, it is so badly needed. We can’t wait to visit.
Good luck with AbleStay, we would love to book when you are up and running.
What a wonderful resource you are creating.