PM awards outstanding Welsh disability volunteer

27 September 2018

The Prime Minister has today, 27 September, recognised Joshua Reeves, from Cardiff, for campaigning for disability rights.

Joshua launched the ‘Don’t Call Me Special’ campaign to share the belief that his disability does not define him.

Drawing on his own experience as a wheelchair user, Joshua visits primary schools to help children understand discrimination and that people with disabilities are the same as everyone else.

Joshua has taken the campaign globally with the ‘Commonwealth Youth Council’ to address the marginalisation of people with disabilities in the Commonwealth’s 52 countries.

Visiting Antigua, Joshua taught young children and adults about disability rights and awareness and his work was commended by the Antiguan High Commissioner, Her Excellency Karen-Mae Hill.

Joshua is the latest recipient of the Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.

In a personal letter to Joshua, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

‘Your ‘Don’t Call Me Special’ campaign is educating young people and sharing the important message that disability does not define a person.

‘You should be incredibly proud of working with the Commonwealth Youth Council to take this work global and campaign for disability rights around the world.’

Lisa Oliver, Speaker Network Coordinator at Leonard Cheshire, one of the charities Joshua supports, said:

‘Josh is dedicated to creating change. He’s always keen to add his voice and experiences to our campaigns to help improve the lives of disabled people in the UK. As one our charity’s official spokespersons, he’s also spoken at several cub and scout groups to raise awareness of disability related issues.

‘This is as well as his YouTube content, which he has created to support disability transport campaigns, promote accessible gyms and raise awareness of invisible disabilities.

‘It has been a pleasure to work with Josh, as I’ve had the chance to see first-hand the impact he makes on individuals — with his audience having a greater understanding of both disability issues and rights.

‘He has a real passion for educating others. Myself and everyone else at 'Leonard Cheshire' is immensely proud that he’s got the recognition he truly deserves. Congratulations from all at Leonard Cheshire!’

Joshua said:

‘I’m honoured to receive an award like this. I didn’t think my campaign would became this successful, as it just started as dream to change people’s perspectives on people with disabilities and spread awareness that no one is special.’

Joshua is the 1012th winner of the Points of Light award, which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA. Over 6,000 Points of Light have been awarded in the USA, and former Presidents have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK.

There is a similar cross-party approach to the UK programme and MPs from different parties often present their constituents with their Points of Light awards.

Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Points of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.

Media enquiries

For further media enquiries regarding Joshua please contact Claire Farrell on claire.farrell@leonardcheshire.org or call 020 3242 0204.

Notes to editors

  1. The Points of Light awards recognise outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.
  2. The Prime Minister makes daily announcements of the winners to celebrate, encourage and promote volunteering and the value that it brings to the country.
  3. If people know someone who could be a Point of Light they should write to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street.
  4. Website: www.pointsoflight.gov.uk