October 1st, 2016

Redditch teenager lobbies for disabled rights

Redditch teenager lobbies for disabled rights Redditch teenager lobbies for disabled rights
Updated: 10:52 am, May 14, 2015

A 19-year-old wheelchair user from Webheath is among those who campaigned for change as part of Scope’s 100 days, 100 stories.

The charity published a story from a disabled person or family with a disabled child every day in the run up to the General Election, with the aim of encouraging parliamentary hopefuls to better understand disability.

Nathan Giles, who has Cerebral Palsy, has been a campaigner on disability issues for the last ten years and voted for the first time on May 7.

He said: “I think more young people should vote and I enjoyed the experience this year of not just advising people who to vote for.”

Donna, his mum, added: “Everything was accessible for Nathan although we did email ahead first to check with electoral services.

“Nathan could have voted via postal vote but he should have the same opportunities as everyone else.”

The youngest person to speak at the The United Nations in Geneva when he was just 13, Nathan first got involved in politics after being told by his mother that a disabled person had to be carried into 10 Downing Street.

He said: “I knew a law had been passed that all public buildings should be fully accessible and so it seemed a bit strange that the home of the Prime Minister was not classed as a public building.”

When he was ten Nathan wrote to Tony Blair and other ministers to raise the issue.

“I never thought he actually would do it,” said Donna, “from there his political interests have just spiralled.”

Nathan, who’s dream is to be an MP, was contacted by the parliamentary officer at Scope and invited to Downing Street with the charity where he was interviewed for Central Tonight.

A young leader of the Birmingham Ambassador Club for the charity Whizz-Kidz, Nathan also leads on the Space Invaders Campaign which aims to raise awareness of the misuse of disabled car parking spaces.