OBE Recognition for Mencap Director
Tuesday 17 June 2008
Maureen Piggot, Director for Mencap in Northern Ireland, has been recognised on the honours list with an OBE for services to people with a learning disability.
In her role Maureen is responsible for leading the organisation on campaigning and advocacy issues as well as over-seeing a range of services to children and adults with a learning disability and their families and for supporting a network of local groups.
The list, which recognises merit and distinguished service to the community, was announced on Saturday, as part of the Queen's Birthday celebrations, and the Director for the leading learning disability charity was delighted at the news.
"I am very proud to receive an OBE. Working for Mencap has given me the opportunity to make a difference to the status of people with a learning disability in society and to the lives of those I have worked with more directly. I would like to pay tribute to the many excellent staff and volunteers that I have worked with. It is thanks to them that our work here in Northern Ireland has been recognised. Mencap is an exciting and fulfilling place to work. I am proud of the organisation's 60 year achievements and I am privileged to have been part of it.
£Looking to the future, it is obvious from the recent reports by the Joint Committee on Human Rights "A Life Like Any Other? Human Rights of Adults with Learning Disabilities" that there is still along way to go to give people with a learning disability their proper place and recognition in the community. Mencap is now reaching more people through active engagement and better communication methods allowing more people with a learning disability and their families to have their voices heard. We want to make sure that everyone with a learning disability has the chance to lead the kind of lives they want - be it ordinary or extraordinary".
Joanne McDonald, Equality Officer for Mencap, spoke from the viewpoint of a person with a learning disability: "Maureen has been totally dedicated to promoting equality for people with a learning disability across NI and the wider field. Maureen's dedication and determination gives us all inspiration. She motivates Mencap staff to work towards empowering people with a learning disability."
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For further information contact:
Senior Communications Officer: Emma Hegarty
Telephone: 028 90690151
Mobile: 078 2444 1797
Notes to editors
Mencap in Northern Ireland
An OBE is awarded for a distinguished regional or country-wide role in any field, through achievement or service to the community, including notable practitioners known nationally."
Born in South Africa, Maureen has worked with children, young people and adults there, in the United States and in Northern Ireland. Maureen is a graduate of the University of Natal, qualified as a teacher and obtained an MEd in special education from Trenton State College, New Jersey.
Maureen is Vice President of Inclusion Europe and is active in promoting the rights of people with a learning disability in Europe and in meetings with UN agencies
Mencap in Northern Ireland works in local communities with people with a learning disability and their families and carers, fighting to end discrimination and prejudice, and providing a range of advice, information and support services.
A learning disability can affect someone's life in many ways, causing difficulties in learning, communicating and doing everyday things. Learning disabilities have many different causes, but are always lifelong. A learning disability does not prevent someone from learning and achieving a lot in life, if given the right support.
An estimated 2% of the Northern Ireland population has some form of learning disability, amounting to over 33,000 people. Of these, 16,336 are known to Health and Social Services and over 4,000 have a severe or profound learning disability.
In Northern Ireland 2 babies will be born this week with a learning disability. They will face discrimination all their lives. Mencap are fighting to put a stop to this.
For information about learning disability issues please call Mencap's Infomation Service on 0845 763 6227 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
People with a learning disability don't get an equal chance in life. Mencap fights to change laws and services and to provide better access to education, employment and leisure facilities, supporting thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.