Joyce is a disabled parent and carer for an older son with a variety of mental health problems. She has learnt that neither role fits with the perception that public bodies have of disabled people namely: disabled people cannot be carers.
Joyce became disabled while Nursing and for a while she ran her own craft business while at the same time representing the CLP in Dumfries and Galloway as their disabled spokesperson. She also studied Psychology at Lancaster University and went on to study educational policy as a postgraduate, comparing policy across the EU.
Joyce has worked with a number of disability organisations writing articles about disabled parenthood, campaigning for better understanding and provision for disabled mothers. When Joyce moved to Sheffield the issue of parental access to schools came up as she found it difficult to get access to parent teacher events or the school office if she had concerns. So Joyce started a campaign with her MP's assistance. Joyce worked with The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and finally gained an acceptance by the government that all parents had a right to access their children's teachers.
When Joyce moved to Sheffield she became interested in the heritage of the city and how it brought communities together from all backgrounds. She has worked with other disabled people on improving accessibility to museums and heritage sites as well as setting up a heritage promotion organisation, and drawing up access maps to some of Sheffield's city parks.
Joyce's involvement in heritage has led to her belief that we are not using our assets wisely. Heritage is popular, creates social cohesion and can access funding that other kinds of community organisations cannot. She believes mixing public services with grassroots organisations could make the money go further, remove people from a medical environment they no longer need and allow local services to target crisis areas without leaving vulnerable people with no support at all. Joyce is currently working with a number of heritage organisations who are using heritage funding to fund community events and keep community facilities open in areas of high deprivation.
Find out more about Joyce's work at www.timewalk.btck.co.uk
Joyce also blogs at: www.sheffieldtimewalk.wordpress.com