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We meet the man seeking to make Southall and Ealing better for disabled people to get around

We meet Tarek Mrad who lives in Southall and is shortly to highlight his concern to local MP Virendra Sharma about how difficult it is for residents who are disabled to travel around Ealing.

Tarek, 25, moved to Southall from Hounslow last year and lives in supported living. EALING.NEWS got an opportunity to meet him. We found out more about the man who volunteers his time to helping others and looking to make life better for all.


What inspired you to contact Virendra Sharma MP and what do you hope Mr Sharma can do?
My friend encouraged me to contact the MP to help people with disabilities in Southall to get around more easily. I hope Mr Sharma can see how difficult it is and make improvements and access in the area. Also bus drivers in the Southall area I have found are rude to people with disabilities, some ramps don’t work on their buses and I have to wait for buses where their ramps are working. I want Mr Sharma input on how this can be improved too. Better relationships with London Transport and bus drivers need more understanding. I am hoping we can make changes together to improve people’s lives who have disabilities.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how long have you been living in Southall in Ealing?
I have been living in Ealing since November 2022, I live in sheltered accommodation and I have Cerebral palsy, I am 25 years old, and came to England when I was 5 from Lebanon.

What do you do you enjoy doing?
My main hobby is volunteering for Heston West Big Local programme with C-Change West London, I sit on the committee as well as volunteer. As I am in an electronic wheelchair its difficult to get around to do things, but my other . Hobbies include music, art, socialising and in the past I have done interviewing for POD CASTS 86 altogether. I am very proud of this achievement

What made you want to come to live in Southall?
I did not elect to live in Southall really it was just by chance, I was re-homed from the London Borough of Hounslow where I previously lived in sheltered accommodation.

What do you like about the area and what do you think can be improved?
Southall has nice restaurants, I do like the local Chinese and I just started to like Indian food there are many restaurants here. I also like Southall park, there is a lot of space and easy to get around.

I think access and pavements need to be improved, bumps in the road too, as I am in a wheel chair I feel every bump in the road & pavement. It’s really difficult for someone in a wheelchair to get around. Access to shops can also be very difficult too, not all shops support people with disabilities.

What are the challenges you face?
My challenges are driving around the area in my wheelchair, there is a lot of rubbish, which gets stuck in my wheelchair, its smells awful at times. When visiting shops some shops have really steep ramps and my wheelchair can slip off the ramp, which I feel is dangerous. Also its always a challenging meeting people and attending activities due to limited transport issues.

Have you ever contacted your local councillors and what has their response been to you when you have contacted them?
Yes I have had experience in working with Hounslow council councillors and attend champions meeting with Public Health. I have been part of work groups giving my opinion in Hounslow forums. I went on a bus trip with the mayor and councillor so they could experience how difficult life can be for a disabled person just getting from A-B. Hounslow councillors listened to my views.

Hopefully I will meet my Southall councillors in the future.

Find out more about Tarak, his projects and the volunteering work he does

Community Podcast:
Boccia Community Tournament:
BBC Radio Interview:
Cooking Club:
Young People’s Views of Hounslow:
Race to Run Music Video:

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