You maybe wondering why I have the alias Markinsutton when I don’t live in Sutton. There is a very good reason for this which will become clearer later on. First I want to tell you about who I am and some achievements of my life so far. So without further of a do here we go!
I was born in London in 1972 at St Georges hospital in Tooting. Most my childhood was spent in residential Care at a boarding school in Hambledon in Surrey. I think this gave me the best start in life things at home for me as a young child was not great I was bullied at primary school. So moving away from the family home at 8 years old was nerve racking but an exciting time for me. It was like I was thrown into a new family and it was awesome. My first dormitory had 12 boys in it was like having 12 brothers. The residential units were run bythe Nuns of Sacred Heart of Mary. In my first residential unit was looked after by Sister Anne, she is who I consider my soul
and guidance in life, I’ve been so lucky to have this start. For the first time I had a stable ground to live out my dreams. I think the most important lesson wasn’t learnt in the classroom at school, I learnt pretty much nothing within the classroom but from the play ground from the friends you make in life give you the strength to do pretty much anything. I have lived by this motto ever since.
I consider myself a strong person and haven’t allowed my Cerebral Palsy to stop me from doing anything.The worse thing someone can say to me is “Mark, you can’t do that?”. After meeting Gadget show presenter and autor Jason Bradbury. My Current ambition is to write a book about my life.I don’t want to write too much here as your never buy my book. English was always a difficult subject for me in school having poor speech and not being able to hear what my words sounded like. My Cerebral Palsy made writing very difficult.
This brings me onto another achievement I was very proud off, going to Portland College in Nottinghamshire. Technology has always played a big part in my life. So when I was given the opportunely to become Cisco qualified I jumped at the chance I first started at Portland College as a student in 2004 my attentions where to move back home in Surrey after getting my Cisco qualifications. I have always found it truly amazing just how events in your life change the way things turn out. Returning home Christmas after visiting a friend in Cheshire I had what seemed like a small accident falling over getting off a bus returning to London. Not realising at the time just how much damage I have done to my leg. I tried to get up thinking I twisted my ankle. It turned out that I ended up breaking both my Tibia and Fibula in three places. The damage was so bad the bones where unable to repair themselves. This put me in hospital for 6 weeks while doctors came up with the idea of putting metal plates in my leg. Due to my Cerebral Palsy recovery was slow as I place most my weight on my right leg, this was the leg I broke. Not to be stopped I returned to Portland College in the new year with my leg still in plaster. Part of my placement at Portland College was to do an external work experience. Due to my leg being in plaster this was going to be difficult, I still had months of physiotherapy ahead of me. I decided that because the college did not have internet access for the students in the evening to set up my own business plan and run an internet café within the grounds of the college. The internet café was running well giving the students practical experience of a working computer network. I was due to leave the college and one of those unexpected situations turned up changing my life once again. I had a massive seizure leaving me unconscious for 48 hours. Waking up I loss most off my control of the left side of my body and again unable to walk. I was just about to take Cisco exams before this happened. The college allowed me to stay a little longer and I finally achieved getting my Cisco and Microsoft qualifications in Mid 2005.
Recognising just how much I have achieved within my time at the college I got awarded an outstanding achievement award presented to me by baroness Nicky Chapman Mp. This award was in recognition of my knowledge and ability to present a well researched business plan for the internet café despite all the draw backs I had within my 15 months at the college. They were so impressed they offered me the opportunity for a full time job within the ICT Repair service centre. So I jumped at the chance and moved from my home in Sutton in Surrey to Sutton in Ashfield. Hence the nickname Markinsutton
I started working at Portland College in September 2005. It was my responsibility to set up labs for students in the Service Centre. As well as this I was maintaining a contract with Leonard Cheshire repairing computers to be used for people with disabilities. I later became aware the college had bigger plans for me. Knowing I have worked on massive computer networks before when I was an Systems Engineer for Granada PLC when I left school. They wanted me to aid in the design of the state of the art ICT suite being built. This ICT Centre won awards for the accessibility for disabled students and opened by Prince Edward.
Moving from the very old service centre into a brand new ICT centre was exciting times and I embraced these changes learning so much.Working with people who respected my knowledge and for the first time ever I felt that my disability wasn’t holding me back. I was keen to further my career and went to West Nottinghamshire College to obtain my teachers certificate. While taking my Teachers Certificate I also did an Cisco instructors qualification at Birmingham university. This allowed me to run and manage my own Cisco classes. Setting up the ICT centre was exciting times for me. I was able too pull on all my experience as a Systems Engineer back into practical within the college. Life couldn’t have got better for me. I had my own place to live and was planning to settle down with my girlfriend.
It was nearly too good to be true. Never so truer words said! It didn’t last. Government cut backs meant that the DWP where no longer funding my job and the contract was taken off Portland College leaving me redundant. I was in total despair, Just didn’t know what to do. I tried desperately to get a job near my girlfriends house in Worcestershire without much luck. All my experience was now in Teaching and no College or School had a vacancy for me. Portland College where very good and kept me on for 6 months while I looked around for another job.
The biggest draw back I had at this time was my wheelchair. Both physiotherapy and the college felt for my health and safety it was best for me to remain in the wheelchair while at work. This however meant that I was not strong enough to walk long distances and presented a problem when finding work. In the summer of 2009 I decided that I had no choice but to go back to working in Social Care. It’s a sector I don’t really like as there is far to much red tape but it was a field I knew. I can still use my skills that I learnt within the 3 years I worked for the RNID But I knew from those 3 years things would be difficult. Social care work is very physical work, having just come out of a wheelchair I knew this challenge would be a great one but I met this challenge like most things I do and that is head on. I was getting to understand most of what I needed to do but after getting attacked leaving me with a broken disk in my back I was left needing high levels of pain relief forcing me to leave. Another factor of me leaving was losing my mum to cancer being the only birth parent I had left it was hard for me to come to terms knowing I will now have to cope on my own.
Never to give up and after being a Volunteer at a charity I went to when I was younger called MERU I was offered a part time bank staff role working as a factory technician. I enjoy having a reason to get up each day and go to work. My memory issues caused my epilepsy can be a problem but also an advantage as well, as I never get bored of having to learn a new task each day as I have forgotten how to do it from yesterday. Each time I learn the task again I find better ways of doing it that I may not of thought about before.