"Surviving a Terror Attack made me out to be some sort of hero. But normalising disability is a much tougher challenge."
Will's lived experience of disability combined with his time working in advertising means that Will is perfectly placed to advise on a number of disability related issues.
Will has appeared on numerous TV programmes as a guest and is experienced at doing pre-recorded or live segments. He presented a Podcast for BBC Radio 1 called 'Spinal Injury: A Life Changing Crisis', which is available on iPlayer.
As a terror attack survivor and disabled man, Will's story is both emotional and thought provoking. Will is able to touch upon a number of themes including: vulnerability, adversity, masculinity, privilege and creativity. But above all, Will uses his speaking platform to represent disabled people and to normalise disability.
Associated British Foods
"Having seen Will talk at an event on International Men’s Day, we invited him to join one of our quarterly Diversity and Inclusion team meetings. Will was an interesting and engaging speaker who spoke openly and honestly about the experiences that led him to become disabled, the personal challenges and difficulties he had to overcome during his personal journey to recovery – and the obstacles he now faces on a daily basis living in London. His story was moving, insightful and inspirational! “
"We asked Will to come in and give a companywide talk at Raconteur as part of our 2020 inclusion programme. The programme is designed to broaden our perspectives, and ensure Raconteur employees consider the feelings, views and needs of everyone, regardless of differences. Will is a really engaging speaker and shone a hugely important light on disability for us - his talk is challenging, humbling and entertaining in equal measure. We received fantastic feedback from staff about the session and we are really thankful to Will for helping us along our inclusion journey."
Will became a paraplegic in 2008 when he was injured during the Mumbai Terror Attack. After spending six months being rehabilitated at the Spinal Injury Unit in Stanmore, he returned home to London and began life as a disabled person.
Will returned to work in 2010, securing a position as a Copywriter at the London advertising agency, Leagas Delaney.
In 2012, Will and his father successfully spearheaded a campaign to change the law and ensure that all Victims of Terrorism Overseas would be eligible for financial compensation.
In 2016, Will produced and starred in a film to highlight accessibility problems on the high street called 'Yes I Can, If'. The film received over one million views on Facebook and went viral. Will harnessed the success of the film to talk about disability in the mainstream media, appearing on programmes such as Good Morning Britain and The Victoria Derbyshire Show.
In 2017, Will contributed to 'Back To The Taj Mahal Hotel', a feature length documentary that revisited the experience of surviving a Terror Attack in which nearly 170 people died. Will attended the premier at the International Documentary Festival in Amsterdam.
In 2018, Will joined the Spinal Injuries Association as a Peer Support Volunteer and regularly visits Stanmore to speak with patients in the Spinal Injury Unit. He won Volunteer Of The Year at their annual awards event.
In May 2019, Will presented the BBC Radio1 Podcast, 'Spinal Injury: A Life Changing Crisis'.
In November 2019, Will delivered his first keynote speech at the Masculinity In The Workplace event. His half hour talk, entitled, Masculine Pride Before A Fall provided the audience with an insight into Will's experience of terrorism, disability and adversity.
Click play to see Will in action
SHELL FUELSERVICE PROMO
Shell developed an app to help disabled drivers at their petrol stations. To promote the technology they made this short and informative film starring Will.
YES I CAN, IF
This is the incredible film that Will made to highlight accessibility problems on high street.
BEHIND THE SCENES INTERVIEW
Will does a short piece to camera explaining the reasons behind his film.
Click on the image to see the full article, TV interview or Podcast
IT'S TIME TO BE PROGRESSIVE
June 25th, 2020
Will Pike was paralysed after an injury during the hotel bombings in Mumbai in 2008. He now campaigns for better diversity across corporations and communities. “We have the entire population trying to accommodate themselves in different ways because of coronavirus. Many of the factors in this ‘new way of living’ are factors that disabled people have been wrestling with for years. It’s both enlightening and frustrating.”
SPINAL INJURY: A LIFE CHANGING CRISIS
May 26th, 2019
In this episode we hear the life-changing story of Rubayet, who became a paraplegic in the summer of 2018. Disability campaigner Will Pike and fellow wheelchair user meets Rubayet to find out how he’s coping with a life-changing spinal injury.
AFFILIATIONS & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Over the past few years Will has worked with some wonderful people.
Over the next few years he hopes to work with many more.
As one of the largest organisations dedicated to helping disabled people, Scope were keen to support Will and his accessibility campaign. They used their online presence to promote his film, as well as provide a platform for Will to write a follow-up blog. Since then, the two have joined forces to further highlight disability issues, including Doug Paulley's successful court hearing and the 2017 Disability Hustings.
Inclusion Barnet is a peer-led organisation that supports deaf and disabled people in North London. Will became affiliated with them in February 2015 when he joined the Board of Trustees. As part of the role, he attended meetings to help maintain the core principles of the charity by representing disabled people at Board level. From January 2017, due to personal commitments, Will stepped down from the Board but continues to work for the charity as an Ambassador. One of his first jobs in the new role was to preside, with great honour, over the opening of Hadley Wood's accessible platform.
Carina Molier is a film director who wanted to make a documentary about the Mumbai Terror Attack, so she approached Will to see if he would be interested in contributing to the project. After some persuasion, he agreed. The end result is a captivating re-telling of the event from the perspective of five different people, including Will, that provides a raw insight into what it was like to be a guest at the Taj on that fatal night. The film premiered at the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam.
Back to the Taj Mahal Hotel
AAK is a charity that hopes to put an end knife crime by providing creative outlets for young people. Will's affiliation with the charity comes from a personal friendship with Oliver Hemsley, a fellow spinal injury patient and one of the charity's co-founders. Will has been a supporter of AAK since its inception in 2012, thanks in large part to the fact that the charity is based at Leagas Delaney - the advertising agency where Will was employed as a copywriter.
Le Cool is a weekly online magazine for those looking for fun cultural events and leisure activities. Will was presented with the opportunity to contribute to the magazine and decided it would be a good copywriting outlet. He wrote for Le Cool for a couple of years, covering a range of events and establishments. In 2016, the tables turned when Le Cool wrote up a piece on Will and his accessibility campaign.
Le Cool London
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Since his spinal injury in 2008 Will has met people who helped him overcome massive hurdles.
These words are just a small token of appreciation for what they've done.
Russell is a friend of Will's dad and a solicitor at Leigh Day. His legal advice and support has been invaluable.
Dr.Gall is a spinal consultant at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Stamore. She was the person who had to give Will the prognosis about his spinal injury. She has been at the forefront of his care ever since, ensuring that he is able to manage his physical condition and life his live.
Will's dad has been through more than most. He was by Will's bedside in India before he was barely conscious. He helped Will survive the craziest airplane turbulence while being repatriated back to England. And without him, Will would never have been able to change the CICS. He's a proper ledge.