Wheelchair rights campaigner award

wet. Doug Paulley. 100601GS2.
wet. Doug Paulley. 100601GS2.

Disabled Wetherby man Doug Paulley has been awarded for his community activism by the Sheila McKechnie Foundation.

The 37-year-old, who rose to prominence in his battle for wheelchair spaces on buses, collected the accolade at the House of Lords on Monday and is now planning to take his fight to the Supreme Court.

Mr Paulley said: “I was very surprised to win the award because I wasn’t aware that I had been nominated!

“I’m pleased at how much the campaign has taken off, especially in the media where I’ve been invited onto Channel 4 News and many others to discuss the work of my campaign and what needs changing.

“If we can get the campaign to the Supreme Court, then great. But if nothing else, it’s raised awareness of some of the struggles wheelchair users face when using public transport.”

Doug received his award from South African human rights activist, Kumi Naidoo at the Foundation’s 10th anniversary celebrations.

Linda Butcher, SMK’s chief executive said: ‘Sheila McKechnie was a campaigning force of nature - one of the most eloquent and effective campaigners of her generation.

“She stood up against inequality wherever she saw and heard it, campaigning to create lasting change throughout her life, notably in areas such as health and safety, housing and homelessness and consumer rights.

“Her campaign successes have benefited – and continue to benefit - millions of people across the UK – most of whom won’t even know it.

“The SMK Campaigner Awards provide us with a unique opportunity to recognise and thank some of the inspiring, innovative and often courageous people who are speaking out to effect change.

“All of our winners this year are a credit to the causes and communities they serve and demonstrate the important role campaigners play within our democracy. Congratulations to Doug for his hard work and his well-deserved award.”