Helen Dolphin



Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment
S5, SB3, SM4

Further personal information

Husband Paul Dolphin
Other names
Helen Smith
Norwich, ENG
Consultant, Director, Lawyer
Higher education
Law - The Open University: England

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She was unable to do any exercise for a period following the amputation of her hands and lower legs in December 1997. She began swimming as soon as possible in order to regain some of her fitness.
Why this sport?
She swam as a teenager and has always enjoyed the sport. "I've always been a keen swimmer. As a child, I used to swim with my local swimming club and then when I went to university I became an member of the water polo team. After becoming disabled I knew that I needed to find a sport I could still do and swimming was an obvious choice."
Club / Team
East Anglian Swallow Tails [EAST]: Norwich, ENG
Name of coach
Rob Aubry [national], GBR

General interest

Sporting philosophy / motto
"I hope I have inspired people not to give up, as a lot of people have awful things happen to them but there is still a lot you can do." (edp24.co.uk, 15 Dec 2011)
Awards and honours
In 2015 she was named a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire [MBE], to recognise her campaigning work for people with impairments The award was presented by Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace in London, England. (Twitter profile, 08 Oct 2017; ouls.org, 31 Jul 2016)

She received a Pride of Britain Award in 1999. (ouls.org, 31 Jul 2016)
To compete at a Paralympic Games. (edp24.co.uk, 15 Dec 2011)
Wrongly diagnosed with the flu and then food poisoning in December 1997, it later became apparent that she had meningoccocal septicaemia. Her hands and lower legs were amputated in order to save her life. She has since had more than 100 operations, including further surgery to remove parts of her limbs that had gangrene. (edp24.co.uk, 15 Dec 2011)
Other information
She works as an independent mobility consultant through her company Helen Dolphin Consultancy. She is also a director of People's Parking, an accreditation scheme for car parks. She also works as a consultant lawyer for a law firm based in Sheffield, England. (Twitter profile, 08 Oct 2017; LinkedIn profile, 2017)

She has previously worked as a television news reporter for ITV News Anglia, and has written a column for Disability Now, a motoring magazine aimed specifically at people with an impairment. (LinkedIn profile, 2017; edp24.co.uk, 15 Dec 2011)

She holds a degree in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Bath in England. (LinkedIn profile, 2017)