Glasgow charity founder awarded throughout Burns Night time celebrations at Downing Avenue

A Glasgow charity founder has been recognised throughout an occasion celebrating Burns Night and showcasing the very best of Scottish tradition.

Khalid Raza, the founding father of Wheels to Heal, was awarded the Factors of Gentle accolade by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for the charitable work he is been finishing up for the reason that charity launched in 2015.

He accepted the award throughout a celebration of Burns Night time and Scottish tradition at Downing Avenue this night.

READ MORE: Test your knowledge of Robert Burns with our quiz

Khalid arrange the charity after discovering 150 wheelchairs destined for scrap in Glasgow. He realised they could possibly be simply recycled and remodel the lives of disabled individuals who don’t have access to mobility equipment because of impoverished conditions, social stigma or battle.

Solely volunteer-led, the charity provides a set service overlaying all of mainland Scotland, together with the Highlands, in addition to drop off factors within the central belt.

It additionally runs an uplift service permitting over 500 care houses throughout the UK to donate unused however good-quality mobility aids.

The charity has additionally despatched gadgets to nations together with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Gambia, Ghana, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine, Malawi, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Uganda, and Yemen.

Khalid is the 1972nd individual to obtain the Factors of Gentle award, which was first launched in April 2014 to recognise excellent people making a optimistic change inside their group and provoking others.

A drummer and a bagpiper outside 10 Downing Street ahead of a Burns Night reception
A drummer and a bagpiper outdoors 10 Downing Avenue forward of a Burns Night time reception
(Picture: Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)

Every day, somebody, someplace within the nation is chosen to obtain the award to have fun their outstanding achievements.

He stated: “The award is testimony that the small, conscientious and selfless actions of a collective grassroots group of volunteering people could make a huge impact on a world stage. At dwelling right here within the UK, it’s a shout in opposition to the waste tradition that has been allowed to develop, a substitute for landfill, and as an alternative creating an emotional legacy for hundreds of apparatus donors.

“Abroad, it’s a big cry of aid for these lucky to be given the present of mobility and a few dignity, in addition to a bit voice for the thousands and thousands of disabled individuals who proceed to be invisible and face a lifetime of lockdown and limitations to accessing their group, schooling, employment and fulfilling their goals. Issues all of us take without any consideration.

“As a charity working on a shoestring funds, none of this may have been doable with out the assist of my dad and mom and youngsters, prolonged household, and pals, the goodwill given by UK companies and group representatives, the donations acquired from individuals from all communities and walks of life, and our in-country charity companions.

“We hope this recognition of the environmental and humanitarian advantages of ‘Wheels to Heal’ will encourage extra individuals to do the proper factor when confronted with comparable decisions.”

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Scottish Secretary Alister Jack stated: “Many congratulations to Khalid for tonight’s award. This can be a selfless and really imaginative mission, with optimistic humanitarian and environmental impacts that may endure for a few years and lengthen far past our shores.

“It’s a implausible instance of the facility of grassroots volunteering and one that ought to function a optimistic instance to us all.”

Downing Street hosted a reception in honour of Burns Night
Downing Avenue hosted a reception in honour of Burns Night time
(Picture: Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)

In a private letter to Khalid, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated: “As we mark Burns Night time and have fun all the things that’s particular about Scottish tradition, I’m delighted to have the ability to recognise the ingenious work you’re doing with Wheels to Heal.

“I used to be impressed to find out how your probability discovery of 150 wheelchairs going to landfill has led to a volunteering community that’s giving actually hundreds of individuals internationally entry to wheelchairs and mobility aids.

“You might have created an revolutionary means of stopping completely good gear going to waste whereas remodeling the lives of disabled individuals on a world scale.”


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