Updated: May 10
Tell us about yourself - who are you and what do you love doing?
I’m Anoushé Husain, Civil Servant by day and ParaClimber by night. I love climbing and using my journey to highlight the barriers people face in society and how we can change them to make the world a better place. I co-founded Paraclimbing London with Anna Knight. Paraclimbing London is a social initiative to
Give us three words that you identify with most?
Stubborn, determined, hopeful.
What brings you the most joy outdoors?
Seeing how nature changes and gives me surprises every time I take the time to look.
What has been your biggest challenge to date?
Highlighting and removing the barriers in our society that people face because of who they are or who they choose to be. As someone who has Pakistani heritage, is a muslim and lives with multiple visible disabilities as well as invisible health conditions (like Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) including being a cancer survivor, I’m acutely aware of some of the barriers when it comes to reaching my potential not just in climbing but in society too.
This year, I’ve been learning to become a wheelchair user and it’s hard both physically and emotionally. There are access issues in terms of physical access to buildings and public transport but also people’s perceptions. It’s upsetting when people don’t speak to me directly at a shopping till, refuse to take my order in a restaurant or shops using disabled parking bays to create socially-distanced queues. I’m not upset at needing to use a wheelchair, if anything, it’s giving me independence but I’m upset at how un-inclusive we are as a society and how much more freedom I would have if we had an inclusive society.
If you could share a core value or abiding principle with others, what would it be?
Empathy, honesty and inclusion. Put yourself in someone’s shoes and imagine their journey to do what you are doing.
Tell us one small change we can make as individuals to help our community?
Diversify the people you are talking to and meeting. The more people you meet who aren’t like you, the more understanding you will gain of the barriers they experience and how to change them.
As an example: Have a look at your social circle, how many people in there are like you? Look at gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, ability range, body shape, socio economic background etc.