Young disabled campaigner up for award
A Great Yarmouth disability rights campaigner has been shortlisted for a top charity award.David Layton is part of the young disabled campaigners group Trailblazers, set up by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign to promote young people with disabilities getting the same opportunities in life as their non-disabled peers.
A Great Yarmouth disability rights campaigner has been shortlisted for a top charity award.
David Layton is part of the young disabled campaigners group Trailblazers, set up by the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign to promote young people with disabilities getting the same opportunities in life as their non-disabled peers.
The group has investigated accessibility on public transport, at leisure venues and in education, and has campaigned to make changes in these areas for disabled people. Their transport campaign has even led to the Department of Transport launching a consultation to fine transport providers if disabled users can't access the disabled spaces.
Now, their work has been recognised by The Charity Awards 2010, the UK's most prestigious awards ceremony for the charity sector. Trailblazers is one of three shortlisted charity projects for the children and youth category award.
David, 24, has played a part in all of these investigations for the East of England. He has the life-limiting muscle wasting condition Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
He said: “I'm so pleased we're being recognised for all the work we've done to make sure disabled people get the same opportunities as everyone else in life. This is the only group of its kind in the UK and the only one that lets disabled people make a difference to disabled access and facilities they use every day.
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“Trailblazers has made a big difference to all of us - by letting us make our voices heard and by putting us in touch with other like-minded people. We're all very proud to have been shortlisted for this award.”
The Trailblazers was set up in 2008 with funding from Vinvolved, a youth volunteering charity. It has been given funding for three years to help young disabled people campaign about accessibility and equality issues affecting them.
With the three investigations they have already launched, the Trailblazers have lobbied Parliament, met government ministers and handed in a petition at 10 Downing Street. They are currently investigating equality in employment and will be looking into accessible tourism later this summer.
If Trailblazers win in their category, they will also go forward to win the best overall prize for excellence against the other category winners.
Organiser of the Charity Awards 2010 Daniel Phelan said: “The Charity Awards recognise and reward the fantastic work that takes place within the voluntary sector right across the UK and beyond. It's so important that we acknowledge the achievements of voluntary organisations because it applauds the people who are least likely to expect any recognition but most likely deserve it.
“By being short-listed, The Muscular Dystrophy Campaign has already demonstrated that it is amongst the best-managed charities in the UK. I wish everyone involved the best of luck on the night.”
Trailblazers project manager Bobby Ancil said: “We are incredibly proud of what the Trailblazers have achieved over the past couple of years. Here at the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign we have given them the tools to go out and investigate these issues and campaign for equality, but it's the Trailblazers themselves, like David Layton, who have made the project such a success.”
The winners in each category of The Charity Awards 2010 will be announced at a ceremony hosted by Jo Brand in London next month.
To find out more about the Trailblazers go to http://www.mdctrailblazers.org/ and for the work of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign in general go to www.muscular-dystrophy.org.