Claire’s life turned upside down on 6th May 2007 when she became paralysed from the chest down in a horse riding accident that happened in a split second and has been awarded an MBE in February 2017
Claire Lomas MBE speaks on the following topics:
Claire Lomas was working as a Chiropractor and had reached the highest level in the sport of eventing when a freak accident left her paralysed from the chest down. She had gone from living life as an active sportswoman, whose dreams were coming true, to a life that seemed bleak and unfulfilling. The simplest of tasks were now a challenge for Claire. Many doors had closed, and it was difficult not to dwell on all she had lost. Claire had to dig deep to find the strength and courage to rebuild her life from scratch. After discharging herself from hospital after only 8 weeks, Claire was determined to do as much rehabilitation as possible, spending many hours in the gym, however she also recognised that she needed more than this in her life.
Her relationship of four years ended ten months after her accident and although Claire felt at rock bottom, she was determined not to sit back and feel sorry for herself. She signed onto an internet dating site where she met Dan, who later became her husband. She gave birth to their daughter in 2011. Claire also found new sports including skiing, she set up a business, wrote a book and organised fundraising events. Her life was totally different but it did have one similarity, she was busy again.
In 2012 Claire became headline news worldwide. She walked the London Marathon in a pioneering robotic suit. It took a gruelling 17 days and raised £210k for Spinal Research. She became the first owner of a robotic suit, and used it when she had the honour of lighting the Paralympic cauldron in Trafalgar Square.
In 2013 Claire completed a 400 mile hand cycle around parts of England, visiting schools and inspiring pupils on the way, she raised another £85k for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation. Claire is constantly thinking of ways to raise money and strongly believes there will soon be a cure.
During 2014 and 2015 Claire organised a number of fundraising events and took the total raised to over £500k.In 2016 Claire completed the London Vitality 10k in 12 hours, and completed the Great North Run in September, whilst 16 weeks pregnant.
Claire is currently learning to ride a motorbike and loves pushing the boundaries. In July 2017 she became the first paralysed female in the UK to get her motorbike race licence, and now aims to ride tracks around Europe. In October Claire takes on another huge fundraising challenge- to complete the Great South Run (10 miles) in 24 hours.
Claire speaks about the split second that changed her life, and candidly describes her darkest times. Her story is full of the humour required to help Claire get through some embarrassing moments that her injury has caused. The audience go through the extreme roller-coaster of emotions with Claire; they cry, they laugh and they admire. She demonstrates the robotic suit, and you can hear a pin drop as everyone is fascinated by the pioneering technology. As Claire walks across the room, people are in awe that she managed 26.2 miles in the streets of London when she can’t even feel the ground beneath her.
Claire talks about the gradual process of turning her situation around, and surprisingly how the five best days of her life have all been after her devastating injury. She describes the turning point which was when she stopped thinking of everything she could no longer do, and instead the many things she could still do. Claire challenges her audience to raise their sights, make their own luck by taking opportunities and be the best they can be. People leave the room believing in themselves, inspired and hugely motivated. When faced with challenges in their own lives, Claire’s words stick in their mind “Whether you believe you can or whether you believe you can’t – you are right”.
Claire tailors her talks so the delegates get the most from it as possible.
Claire’s speaking topics:
• Overcoming adversity
• Achieving your goals
• Following your dreams
“Claire is an absolutely fantastic speaker, a true inspirational individual who told the story of her journey in a very powerful way. She is a true embodiment of determination, grit, motivation and positivity, I'm full of admiration for her attitude to embrace life and her resolve against adversity. There was so much to take away and reflect on that really fitted with the ethos of the day. We worked hard to identify a speaker that would fit within the theme of our staff conference and we were not disappointed. Clare was truly professional throughout and her ability to connect with the audience was second to none. We tend not to use speakers again but I would definitely recommend Claire to other organisations that we work with.” New College Durham
“Claire was brilliant. She engaged the audience from the moment she walked onto the stage wearing her bionic suit ‘Freddy’. Her story was incredibly inspirational and her honest, open and personable delivery was very well received. She took our theme of personal evolution into consideration and referred to it numerous times in the delivery of her talk, which we really appreciated. Her story fit perfectly with the message we were trying to portray to delegates and it was an ideal finish to a successful two-day event.
Delegates were touched by her story and everyone was keen to stay around after the conference to speak to Claire and ask her additional questions, which she was kind enough to answer. On a personal level, Claire was an absolute joy to meet. She was kind, understanding and had an infectious positivity about her. I would recommend booking Claire to speak at any event.” BAE Systems
“Claire’s presentation was fabulous, she seems like a natural presenter and delivered her story wonderfully. She left quite an impact on our staff, they spoke about her for the rest of the day and were very appreciative of the presentation and loved speaking to her afterwards. She would be great for high school students.” ACS School
“Claire’s presentation was really well-received and afterwards we had several very positive comments about the presentation and how inspiring Claire was from the audience, members of staff, students, parents and VIP guests. Claire presented in a very personable, friendly and natural style. Her delivery was great – good mix of serious information to convey, with a humorous touch. The content was really inspiring and the message of seizing opportunities and not giving up suited the audience and met our brief. The combination of Claire’s use of her robotic suit to preface the video, followed on by her speech, worked really well and was very engaging. The content followed the brief and was relevant to our audience – which is a mix of parents, students, staff, employers, community contacts and VIPs.” Marketing & Events Assistant, Uxbridge College
“This was a really relevant and inspirational presentation, Claire was warm and funny and I think a lot of people really related to what she was saying. Lots of people came up to thank Claire personally at the end of the session so I think this really resonated especially in a time of change and uncertainty. Claire arrived with plenty of time to prepare and we were aware of any requirements. It was great that Claire was able to stay behind at the end and speak to people individually.” Leadership Development Assistant, Sainsburys
“Claire’s extemporaneous speaking style was excellent. She kept the audience engaged and was able to establish and maintain eye contact throughout. We wanted our staff to walk away from our company meeting feeling positive, knowing that belief is important in achieving your goals and that change can be hard but that it’s important to embrace it. Claire exceeded our expectations and her journey moved us – some to tears. Her positivity and fun personality was truly inspiring. Claire had a positive impact on the entire audience. There were tears as well as laughter. Additionally Claire’s book signing was a line of people who all had personal reasons for being there – from individuals with loved ones also dealing with psychological damage to those simply wanting to meet Claire to express their admiration.” Logicalis
“Claire’s story was moving, entertaining and inspirational. She was very clear in her presentation, as well as being honest and open about the physical and emotional struggles that she has encountered. The video that was shown at the beginning was very good to draw people into the story, and the walking suit was an eye-opener for the challenges that Claire faces. Being able to purchase Claire’s book at the end was also something that our audience were thrilled about.
Everyone who attended was moved by Claire’s story, inspired by her courage and amazed by her positivity. We have had so much positive feedback and the speech has been talked about in the office a lot since. Having heard a little of Claire’s story we all wanted to hear more! I am sure that many of us will be keen to follow Claire’s story going forward and support her charity work in any way we can.” Emmett UK Limited
“Claire kindly agreed to present to a large audience composed of academics and business leaders at our Sheffield University Health Technologies Industry Day, something even I found daunting. Claire is a superb and inspirational speaker, she really brought to life the experience of walking the London Marathon with a robotic endoskeleton, and also provided profound insights into the human experience of living with a life changing disability. Since her presentation to us, I know that Claire has had many more adventures, and I warmly recommend her as a speaker who will change the way you think about life and what makes it worth living. We received fantastic feedback from all delegates” Innovations in healthcare conference, Sheffield.
“…Claire Lomas woke us up with her energy and enthusiasm for meeting life head on and reminded us to always remember to look at our patients that cross our path having their own individual goals and desires of what they want and need from life. A truly inspiring story. Claire left an audience in awe and admiration of what can be achieved no matter what limitations have been placed on our bodies – thank you Claire” Clinical Surveillance lead. Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
“….We asked Claire to speak at an event which was designed to bring health and social care colleagues together to look at the challenges they face together and how these might most effectively be addressed …. Claire's story is inspiring and extremely emotional – that goes without saying, but she delivers it with a candid humour and honesty which cannot fail to touch everyone in the room. She is truly inspirational and very much helped to focus the minds of delegates of how to achieve something that appears to be impossible. A fantastic speaker and an incredible woman.” NHS East Midlands Healthcare Conference
“Claire opened our NHS Leadership conference with her amazing and inspiring story. The audience, a mix of NHS leaders, future leaders and academics listened, laughed, cried and were all able to take something away from Claire’s session, whether it be personal or professional. Claire gave us a great insight into not only her personal story, but also her experiences of care and rehab in the NHS. This motivated delegates to ensure Claire’s experiences will inspire continual improvement of care quality and patient experience. We are so pleased Claire took the time to speak to us, the feedback from all in the room was unanimously positive, and she set the tone for a fabulous day.” Inspiring Leaders of Tomorrow conference – NHS Leadership Academy
“.. I met Claire for the first time in 2014 and from the very beginning I knew Claire would make an astonishing contribution to our work. Her story is of course extraordinary, but she is able to combine a talent for compelling story-telling in the most accessible, searingly honest and humbling way imaginable. She is the best of all us, but makes it possible for all of us to want to emulate her love of life, opportunity and potential. It is a privilege to work with her and her brilliant team. The moment I first reached out to Claire will always be one of the best decisions I ever made.” LBC Wise Counsel
“It was a pleasure having Claire Lomas at FutureFest; her story is inspirational and her use of innovative technology and ambitious spirit made for a wonderful addition to the festival.” Festival Manager, FutureFest
“I listened to your presentation in the Farrer Theatre in Eton on Friday, and was thoroughly impressed and humbled by your achievements and ‘joie de vie’. You were a great example to our boys, and certainly inspired them. Thank you for taking the time to visit us.” Eton College
“Claire Lomas visited Brockington College in November 2012 and that day will be remembered as the highlight of the year by so many. Prior to her visit, pupils were shown video footage of her 2012Marathon and information on her life before and after the accident. When Claire spoke during her assembly, you could hear a pin drop! The pupils and staff listenedwith admiration and respect and were totally in awe of this amazing lady. She speaks from theheart, showing passion and humour about her life and the challenges she faces on a daily basis.The College was so inspired by her story and the way she approaches life. Her underlyingmessage was “you make your own luck” “take opportunities” and “make sure you live life to the fulland never give up”. Such a simple message for teachers to say on a daily basis but coming from Claire Lomas, it has a far greater influence on youngsters as we have seen.” Brockington College, Leicester
“This is just to say thank you again for coming in to talk to the girls this morning. Both staff andpupils have come up to me throughout the day to say how much they were moved and inspired by hearing you talk about your experiences. I chatted one girl at lunchtime who told me you were thebest speaker she has ever listened to. So I'd say that was a success!” Headington School
“Brilliant and inspiring! Amazing, so inspirational! Very open and honest…Awesome! The feedback from delegates says it all – I could write all 120 comments, they are all creditable. This is the first time we have had complete 100% ‘excellent’ feedback regarding the chosen guestspeaker. Without any doubt, Claire Lomas was the perfect guest speaker for this event – she has achievedwhat she set out to do and more. Her incredible honesty about her journey and experience was inspirational and impressive and a lesson to us all on determination and courage. Claire is an intelligent, captive speaker, who delivered so many valuable messages regarding achievingpersonal potential, following your dreams, aiming high and remaining positive. A credit to all that heard her speak.” Thames Valley Police
“Claire provided a riveting finale to our recent National Partners Conference. Her frank andpoignant presentation of her personal journey from a superfit event rider to a paraplegic monoskieras a result of a freak accident which could affect anyone, had our business audience of 140 peoplerapt with admiration. She is an exceptional individual with a courageous fighting spirit. Her enthusiasm for life, refusal to give in ability to adapt and ambition to succeed left a lastingimpression and inspired everyone in the room.” Freeths LLP
“Claire’s speech was inspirational, humbling and incredibly moving. We had somewonderful feedback” Vodafone
“Thank you so much for your time and excellent presentation on Wednesday – it was great to meetyou and listen to your story in person. It wouldn’t have been the same without you.” WSFF (Houses of Parliament)
“A fantastic day. Such an inspiring and wonderful talk” LOROS luncheon
“Your talk was great, everyone is still talking about you. You are an inspiration and I’m honoured tohave met you” Zionist Federation
Claire Lomas – 10 years on……
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