Latest News Charity Champion or Volunteer of the Year nominee – Deborah Lawson

Charity Champion or Volunteer of the Year nominee – Deborah Lawson

30 May 2024

Charity Champion or Volunteer of the Year nominee – Deborah Lawson

Deborah Lawson is helping others as a disability advocate despite having faced a number of serious life challenges.

The 45-year-old has been recognised not only by the many people she’s supported through her work but also nationally by the Prime Minister.

At the age of 19 Deborah was involved in a car crash which led to her losing her physical mobility. At the age of 24 she had a serious fall which exacerbated her condition further. While undertaking her university studies in extreme pain she found herself lying in bed with a screen suspended above her head.

Despite the real possibility of deferral due to her condition Deborah was able to attain a first class honours degree.

“This degree would end up serving me well in my current line of work,” she said.

Around the time she was due to graduate she was dealt another blow and was involved in a house fire which resulted in her losing all of her possessions and becoming homeless.

Yet with all of these challenges before her Deborah, from Congleton, has continued to challenge societal misconceptions in her role as a disability advocate for more than two decades.

“The impact that I make on people’s lives is what motivates and inspires me to continue,” she said. “Some people have said they wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the work that I do, which is humbling but also gives me extra fight to deliver change.”

Deborah’s work spans various sectors including healthcare, retail, community and policy reform. She is currently collaborating with her local council, one of the relationships where she’s starting to see a material change in attitudes.

“Before, councils resisted change, but my council is now working with me as they are more open-minded and want to do better. That change is refreshing and that investment from our council could hopefully spread to other councils trying to improve their disability policies.”

Deborah’s work has impacted the lives of thousands of people. Indeed, Adenike Nwachukwu, who nominated Deborah for a Your Heroes Award, said: “Her tireless advocacy, pioneering spirit and unwavering commitment to inclusivity make her a champion of change who has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of disabled people. She’s not only done this for 24 years but has done it all as a volunteer.”

Deborah’s message to the people she works with is simple: “If everyone cares and comes together, we can make a difference. We’ve put up barriers and we can easily take them down.”

Deborah has been nominated in the Charity Champion or Volunteer of the Year category of the Your Heroes Awards.