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Ellie is disability champion

Ellie Bamber

Twenty-two-year old Ellie Bamber has never let her own disability hold her back and is now working as a disability champion in Sheffield, helping other disabled people break down barriers to get into the workplace.

Ellie, from New Mills, qualified as an occupational therapist at Sheffield Hallam University last summer, and has recently been appointed by the Department for Work and Pensions as a Young Persons Community Partner. This brand new role will see her working with young people to help them access jobs and also with her own staff colleagues ensuring they understand the challenges and issues faced by people with disabilities.

Ellie is an inspirational young woman and her own story began 22 years ago when she was born with her hips rotated inwards. The condition was undiagnosed until she was in her teens when finally she was told that she had Femoral Anteversion and was given leg braces to wear. 

In the meantime she had problems with her knees, caused by damage to the cartilage, and spent a lot of time in medical appointments having assessments and treatments, and eventually, two operations at Manchester Children’s Hospital.   

Determined to get on with her life, she started swimming at the local pool in New Mills when she was eight, with her younger sister Jasmine, and soon found she had a real talent.

Two years later she moved to Glossop Swimming Club where she trained with coach Mike McKenna and her success at butterfly emerged.

At the age of 16 she moved up to Macclesfield Satellites and took her sport to a new level. She has since been classified as a para swimmer and has competed all over the country, from Glasgow to Swansea. Her wins include a gold medal in the British final of the 100m butterfly at the British Para International meet in Sheffield and she also finished sixth in the 400m freestyle final.

She competed in Croatia with her university team and is due to swim at the British Para International meet in Sheffield at the end of May.

A qualified swimming teacher, she also enjoys sharing her love of the water with youngsters at High Peak Sharks, a disabled swimming team at New Mills pool.

But none of her success would have been possible without the support of her mum Nicola who spent hours driving her to training sessions and competitions, and waiting on the side of the pool. 

Nicola herself has recently been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis but is still extremely supportive of Ellie and her sister Jasmine, 18, also a talented swimmer, who is following in her sister’s wake and has just been chosen to represent Team England at the CP Sport World Games at Sant Cugat in Spain in August this year.

Jasmine, 18, is autistic and suffers from epilepsy and other conditions, but trains five times a week and is a qualified Level One swimming teacher. She won the title of Disabled Sportsperson of the Year in High Peak Sports Awards last year and is currently seeking funding for her trip to Spain. Any companies or individuals able to offer funding or sponsorship should contact Nicola on