A Lancashire student with cerebral palsy who was awarded a scholarship by Edge Hill University for his selfless attitude is hoping to help millions of disabled people in the UK by calling for greater changes to public policy.
Edge Hill Business & Management with Marketing student Oliver Moores, from Chorley, wants to give a voice to disabled people and believes there needs to be better representation of people with disabilities in senior government roles.
Inspirational student Olly, 21, is a wheelchair user and has overcome several health challenges in recent years, including hip reconstruction surgery and scoliosis of the spine.
Olly was awarded Edge Hill’s Adam Bell Scholarship in recognition of the positive impact he has had on the local community and the inspirational work he continues to do for others, including his volunteering for children’s charity Barnardo’s.
He said: “I believe that people have disabilities for a special reason and my reason is to help others. I want to use my disability to make the world a better place and more equal for everyone.
“In my opinion, there’s not enough people with disabilities in top government roles to influence decision making. I think it’s key, because you can’t truly understand what it’s like to live with a disability and the policies that affect disabled people until you’ve been in that situation.”
Olly has been a lifelong supporter of Barnardo’s and is now a vocal advocate for the charity, having been named as Barnardo’s Young Achiever in 2019. Olly was nominated for the award in recognition of his volunteering work at the charity’s Include Me 2 children’s centre in Preston, where he was a service user himself as a child. He has also been a member of Barnardo’s run POWAR group, which gives a voice to children with disabilities and special educational needs in Lancashire.
He added: “I received a lot of support from Barnardo’s when I was younger, so I feel like I am giving back to them in a way. Although Barnardo’s has always been fantastic, I haven’t always had access to the best support as a child and so I saw this as an opportunity to give the children the support I never had access to but wish I did.”
Olly plans to use all of the funds from his scholarship to pay for his travel to Barnardo’s so that he can continue to volunteer, attend meetings and raise awareness for the charity’s cause.
Dylan Williams, Team Manager for Barnardo’s in Lancashire said: “Olly has been an active member of the Barnardo’s-run Participation Service since 2018. It has been a pleasure to see Olly grow with confidence throughout this time and develop his ideas. He has made numerous positive changes to services and influenced decision makers at senior levels, to ensure that young people are heard and supported.
“Olly has also been an active volunteer in our Lancashire Break Time service where he has been supporting young people with additional needs. He is an incredible role model – our young people really look up to Olly – as well as being a great support to staff and advocate for the young people and service. It is a pleasure to support and work with Olly and to see him thrive in everything he has taken on board.”
The Adam Bell Scholarship is worth £2,000 and recognises and celebrates students who make a significant contribution to the community of the University and/or who demonstrate qualities such as dedication, compassion to others, and resilience.
To be considered for the Adam Bell Scholarship, you will need to be nominated by an Edge Hill University student or a member of staff. To nominate someone for the Adam Bell Scholarship, you need to complete and submit our Adam Bell Scholarship Nomination Form.
Applications for scholarships are now open and the closing date for nominations is Monday 31 May 2021 at 5pm.