(originally posted 4 May - updated 20 May)
A Nottingham College student is in the running for a National Diversity Award, after letting nothing stand in the way of his desire to help others. Owen Brindley spends a lot of his time volunteering to help fellow students and local young people, and is hoping to win the Positive Role Model (disability) award as a result.
Owen needs as many votes as possible to help him win his category in the National Diversity Awards, which celebrate unity in society.
20-year-old Owen was born without kidneys, has hearing and speech problems, and is fed through a Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastronomy (PEG). He has undergone more than 30 operations during his life, but despite these challenges Owen is determined to use his love of entertaining people to help others.
Alongside studying for an Entry Level 3 qualification in personal and social development, and Level 1 Functional Skills in maths and English, Owen plays an important role at Nottingham College as the Students’ Union Disability Officer.
I help the College and people with disabilities by attending important meetings to help and give some ideas.
"I have also run workshops where students come in and do board games, get together and make new friends.- Owen Brindley
Owen has done lots of other volunteering and charity fundraising, and he presents two local radio shows to entertain others. The first is called Monday Madness LIVE with DJ Owen, on FMB Radio and the second is on Nottinghamshire YMCA Digital on a Thursday.
Owen said: “My mum donated a kidney to me, which was amazing and probably saved my life! I wear two hearing aids and without them I wouldn’t be able to hear anyone. I’ve always been nil by mouth as well, but I don’t let it stop me doing the things I enjoy.”
He added: “When I was young, I was granted wishes from the charity When you Wish Upon a Star. One of them allowed me to become a Butlins Redcoat entertainer for a weekend, which I really enjoyed.”
Being able to use my own experiences to help others with disabilities at College and in the community is such a good feeling.- Owen
Nottingham College Student Wellbeing Manager, Laura Archer, said: “Owen helped develop the important new role of Disability Officer in our Students’ Union, and he’s so enthusiastic and passionate about his work.
“He is dedicated to supporting our students to get the most out of their time here, and he thoroughly deserves this award.”
You can read more about Owen’s story and vote for him by filling in a short form on the awards website below. They will then send you an email for you to validate your vote. Voting closes on Monday 18th May [UPDATE: see deadline extension below].
NOTE: deadline extended! You now have until Monday 8th June to vote!