Disability activists working with children and their families are on the New Year’s honor list.
Lizzie Bailey, 39, created a newsletter to help young people with additional needs and their families. From her profits, she was able to run arts and crafts workshops for children and “Wheely Wonders” forest activity days.
Lizzie has been helping people for over 20 years and is now awarded an MBE.
Lizzie, from Sidrsham, near Chichester, said:
“I can’t believe I got an award for something I did because I love it. It’s overwhelming to be recognized for that.
“I would definitely like to thank my colleagues at Wellspring. They will be shocked, but I am sure they will be delighted.
A lifelong wheelchair user after being born with congenital muscular dystrophy, Lizzie joined the charity Wellspring at age 16 and assumed the role of chairman and newsletter editor at age 18. I did it.
Since then, she has helped launch Wheely Wonders events, including art workshops for people with different needs, forestry activities and arts and crafts for people with additional needs.
Lizzie estimates she has helped more than 2,000 people to date, and now over 70 families regularly take an interest in her events.
She said she was having “a lot of fun” and was able to “meet so many wonderful people.”
As part of her work, Lizzie was also one of the faces of the Disability Confident campaign in 2013, which promotes the employment of people with disabilities.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, she worked on a fundraiser to help the NHS by completing 100 outdoor swims, raising over £2,300 for the Royal Brompton Hospital in London.
Lizzie holds an MBE for her disability advocacy and charitable contributions in West Sussex.