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Gongs for services to disability in Birthday Honours

12:00am | & News
Mr Asghar Enjoying The Use of His Stairlift With Acorn Engineer

Three people have been given MBEs in the Queen's Birthday Honours List this week for their work in helping people who have disabilities. Jean Bedford, Miro Griffiths, and Liese Bowers were given their gongs in recognition of the way they help people with disabilities.

They are being recognised for their work in helping people with mobility and other issues enjoy similar freedoms to those who do not. 

Jean Bedford

Mrs Bedford, of Bedford was seriously injured in a car accident in the 1940s and doctors said she would never walk again. She asked a friend to help her go horse riding and after a couple of months of riding had regained the strength in her legs to confound her doctors by being able to walk without callipers.

In 1961 Mrs Bedford founded the Bedford and District Handicapped Riders Association which now helps up to 100 disabled children and adults a week learn to ride.

Speaking of her recognition from the Queen for her work, Mrs Bedford said, "I don't think I have come down to earth yet!'

Miro Griffiths

Mr Griffiths runs a consultancy in West Kirby, Merseyside, which advises government departments and private businesses on disability issues and policy. As a teenager he won a Lottery grant to make a computer programme which helps raise awareness of disability issues.

He works with clients in the UK and the rest of the world to improve disability access in offices and homes, but also on the internet to ensure that people are not disbarred from accessing all the services they need here too.

Mr Griffiths also works with the British Councils Disability Advisory Panel.

Liese Bowers

Liese Bowers is a mother of two who has had Multiple Sclerosis for the last 12 years. She was given her MBE this week for her work with the UK Border Force on disability issues. She is credited for getting the Home Office to sign the Time to Change pledge against mental health discrimination.

At work Ms Bowers helps people with disabilities get what they need to help them work effectively. This might be an adapted seat in the office or mobility aids to help them get around the workplace.

Speaking of being given her award, Ms Bowers quips, "I have been told I will meet a member of the Royal Family and am terrified that I might fall over or something."

All of the above have changed perceptions about disability and all have worked hard to change the lives of those with serious mobility problems.

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