Allen Congratulates Wheelchair Users on Awards

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Allen Congratulates Wheelchair Users on Awards

Ulster Unionist Communities spokesperson, Andy Allen MBE MLA has congratulated the winners of the 5th annual Jacqueline Magee Memorial Award, held this year in the Titanic Hotel Belfast.

Speaking following the Awards, Mr Allen who is a wheelchair user himself, said:

“It was an honour to once again be invited to attend the ‘Jackie’ Awards to celebrate the excellent work of the Northern Ireland Regional Wheelchair Service and those wheelchair users who are recognised today for the difference they make.

“The recognition given through these awards to Dean and Andrew for the support they provide to other wheelchair users and to Jason, Chris and David, who have helped to shape and future-proof services provided, is well deserved.

“As a wheelchair user, I am only too aware of how easy it is for a service or provision to exclude those in a similar situation. However, the approach of the regional wheelchair service of ensuring service users are at the fore, and their commitment to a co-design approach is how it should be across the board. 

“I also recognise the essential support that is provided by experienced wheelchair users to those who are recently or newly disabled. Sharing that experience and knowledge of simple things, like entering a building or room with a non-automated door or dismounting a kerb, can make a huge difference to those who a new to using a wheelchair.

“I will continue to champion the need for all facilities and services to be fully inclusive and to engage with not only wheelchair users but also others living with a disability to ensure that accessibility is at the forefront. However, without the help and support of individuals like the five recognised today, ensuring that the voices of wheelchair users are heard is much harder to achieve.”