Award for deaf and blind teenager's fund-raising efforts

PROUD: Liam Mackin with his award in Manchester.

PROUD: Liam Mackin with his award in Manchester.

First published in Worcester Worcester News: Photograph of the Author by , @lizsweetmanWN #worcsnews

A WORCESTER teenager has been named a positive role model for disability after raising about £150,000 for charity.

Liam Mackin, who is deaf and blind, received the award at the National Diversity Awards ceremony.

The awards recognise role models and charities from under-represented backgrounds that work at the core of local communities for their hard work and commitment to equality and diversity.

The 17-year-old, who is a sixth form student at New College Worcester, beat off stiff competition for the award, with runners-up including disability rights activist Katie Caryer, and Alan Rayment, a double amputee and ambassador for Triathlon England disabled athletes.

Liam was presented with his award by Paralympian Jody Cundy.

He said afterwards: “I really wasn’t expecting to win, I’m in shock.

“I’m just so pleased and proud to have won.”

By 14, Liam had two poetry books published in print, large print, Braille and audio, which were all sold at the same price – something that has never been done before or since.

He has also given speeches around the country for the charity Living Paintings, co-run volunteer training courses with the Children’s Society to teach volunteers who want to work with disabled children and has now started running Sighted Guide training courses for people who have family members with sight loss.

As we previously reported in your Worcester News, Liam was also chosen as Worcester Young Citizen of the Year earlier this year by the Rotary Club of Worcester Vigornia for his energy and determination in the work he does in the community.

Mardy Smith, principal of New College Worcester, said: “Liam is the perfect example of the ‘can do’ attitude of students at NCW and we are incredibly proud that we celebrate this achievement with him.”

Liam received the award at a star-studded ceremony at the the Midland Hotel in Manchester.

For the full list of this year’s award winners, visit nationaldiversityawards.co.uk

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