Charity is heartbroken having not only lost its Club’s leader, its point-man, but also a very dear friend – RIP Barry O’Leary

On behalf of The Muscle Help Foundation charity, our deepest condolences to Karen, Ryan and Liam on Barry’s recent passing. Please know that you are all very much in our thoughts and prayers at this time of great loss. The charity is here to support you in any way we can.

Pictured above: Barry & Karen O’Leary receiving The Muscle Help Foundation’s inaugural ‘Room to Reward’ Award for their selfless volunteering over many years in supporting the charity’s Muscle Warriors Powerchair Football Club, presented to them by CEO Michael McGrath on Sunday 1st September 2019.

“Know that you’re never alone when you’re in the thoughts of those who care. As the Manager for our charity’s Muscle Warriors Powerchair Football Club, Barry led from the front, selflessly supporting players in enabling them to be the best they can be at any given time. He inspired others. He was a great listener. He created a positive environment and above all, he instilled confidence and belief in our players.

We are heartbroken having not only lost our Club’s leader, our point-man but also a very dear friend.

Words are never adequate in moments like these but rest assured, Barry’s wonderful spirit will live on, it will endure, not least across the powerchair football community, a family within a family. RIP Barry.”

Michael McGrath

CEO, The Muscle Help Foundation

Pictured above: Barry, a true gentleman and one of life’s good guys! Rest in peace dear friend.

9yrs and counting! MHF’s signature Porsche Muscle Dream Programme sees eight young petrol-heads burn rubber at Silverstone!

Now in its 9th year, the charity’s 2019 signature Porsche Muscle Dreams Programme saw another eight petrol-heads from across the UK with different types of muscular dystrophy relish another awesome experiential event at Silverstone, one of the most the iconic Grands Prix circuits in the world and the home of British Motorsport.

Feedback from those who have watched this year’s ‘LIGHT-IT-UP’ film below suggests it’s the best one ever! We totally agree! It’s a pretty special shared experience, so be sure you watch it below and ‘when’ (not ‘if’) you’re inspired, contact us and let’s have conversation to explore how you might like to get involved in supporting our #powerof657 mission going forwards. Or maybe you would like to witness the impact in 2020! It’s the BIG one… the 10th anniversary in partnership with the Porsche Experience Centre and Whittlebury Park.

“A massive Muscle Warrior thank you to you and all your team especially Milda. You are all very special people!!! Two weeks on from this awesome experience, I’d like to tell you that Lewis has found the confidence to go on his first school trip. This is a massive step forward for him and me. And it’s all down to you and that amazing Muscle Dream experience! Thank you for helping our family. Do not change – your charity is fabulous! Sending love and best wishes” – Lewis, Claire, Guy & Uncle John

“Just to say a massive thank you for the past 2 days – you have created some wonderful memories for us to cherish forever. It was a pleasure to meet your lovely team. What a fantastic bunch of people! Fantastic goody bags – you are all so special and we feel very privileged to know you. Much love” – Sam, Simon, Samuel, Rosie and Ollie

“Thank you so much for a wonderful day on Monday. I am thrilled that we could find the energy and determination to make it – you have clearly spent years perfecting the Porsche Muscle Dream programme which was mazing – it was so kind of you to include siblings in the experience. Jamie was almost speechless with excitement. Mel is beyond impressive as a supporter of the charity and the gifts that Matthew received were astonishingly generous and thoughtful. You really did make us all feel very special and I saw a glimpse here and there of the Matthew that I’d like to get back fully one day. Please find enclosed a donation of £65.70 from each of us and the cancelled check for travel expenses. We hope it contributes to another Muscle Dream” – The Newnham family

We hope that ‘LIGHT-IT-UP 9’ inspires you to take action, join our Muscle Warrior tribe and get involved in supporting our charity –

Whether raising much-needed funds by organising your own fundraiser, volunteering some of your precious time, adopting us as your nominated Charity of the Year or maybe you would like to meet our CEO in exploring the impact of having a corporate partnership that benefits all parties, either way, get in touch and let’s have a conversation.

And in what was our 9th year (yes, that’s 9 years!) delivering this once-in-a-lifetime signature event, muscletastic love and gratitude to all of our terrific volunteers (you know who you are!) and of course to our key partners listed below – we simply couldn’t execute this experience without your outstanding support. Thank you one and all!

  • Porsche Experience Centre at Silverstone
  • Whittlebury Hall Hotel & Spa near Towcester
  • CineCloud (for their superb aerial cinematography)
  • Chris Holt for bringing his energy and passion to this year’s film
  • Steve Carter & Steve Barron on photography

And of course, those fabulous chaps at BCD Meetings & Events‏ for rocking up with all that camera gear, filming, editing and then producing another magnificent video!

Watch more of our life-changing Muscle Dream films on our YouTube channel HERE and see what we mean when we talk about impact. Be sure you subscribe today!

View the official photo album on our dedicated Flickr Channel HERE with over 150 incredible pics, courtesy of the brilliantly talented Gary Perlmutter or Gary Perlmutter Photography – big thanks Gary! Happy viewing!

As a small charity with very limited resources, we need help so we can deliver many more Muscle Dream experiences – if you or your business would like to start a conversation about exploring the value of a strategic partnership with our CEO Michael McGrath or perhaps you would like to volunteer or fundraise for our cause, why not contact us today.

Chocks away as Muscle Warriors Toby, Sammy, Wilson & Ryan reach for the skies in earning their gold wings!

The Muscle Help Foundation’s annual Flying Muscle Dream experience (17th to 18th July 2019) was another tremendous success thanks to the outstanding support of its partners and volunteers – in our 6th year of delivering this programme, four beneficiaries (Toby 15yrs, Sammy 20yrs, Wilson 18yrs & Ryan 20yrs) and their families from across the UK reached for the skies and in so doing, had an unforgettable time in not just broadening their horizons but also earning their Muscle Warrior flying gold wings!

Click HERE to see over 200 wonderful photos on our dedicated online Flickr Photo Channel, snapped by the extraordinarily talented Gary Perlmutter of Gary Perlmutter Photography, one of the charity’s official go-to photographers and whom we are blessed to have in our world – happy viewing!

“We all had a wonderful time especially Toby. It was rather emotional for Andrew and I having both been in a Piper Warrior before. Never did I dream that one day I’d be flown by my son! A heart felt thank you to you and all your wonderful volunteers for enabling us to make such special memories”

Kate, mum of Toby

“We got home about 11 pm and went straight to bed! We had the most wonderful few days with you all – the boys loved their goody bags and particularly the silicon straws! Thank you again for a very inspirational few days”

Emma, mum of Sammy & Wilson

“Thank you once again for an amazing experience; I couldn’t stop smiling yesterday! Ryan absolutely loved it. He intends to do it again. You have some amazing volunteers!”

Jayne, mum of Ryan

Aircraft hangars of gratefulness to all of our volunteers who were absolutely fantastic – to Colette Cooper who managed the programme across the two days, Gary Perlmutter (one of MHF’s official photographers), Jason Smith & Sam Eustace (CineCloud), Nadisha Jayatissa (FF15), Julie Twigg & Victoria Bye (BCDME) and the Chair of our charity’s Trustee Board Fay Sharpe and her son Jaime, all of whom brought their Muscle Warrior energy to yet another memorable Muscle Dream programme experience! Thank you one and all!

This year’s Flying programme had a number of goals:

To create a powerful shared experience that transforms
For beneficiaries to experience something different, something new
To place our young people at the centre of the experience
Make sure that our volunteer family hosts were enriched by the experience
For our key partners to see the direct impact of their causal support
For new relationships and friendships to be established
For our charity’s Muscle Warrior spirit to be felt by all stakeholders

“The strategy has always been about giving young people a powerful sense of achievement and giving them a voice. I’ve watched over the years how experiences like for example flying can be so transformational in not just boosting confidence and uplifting self-esteem but also, I’ve witnessed the pure joy in how a moment in time can bring a family together.

Irrespective as to whether you have a disability or not, I think you’ll agree that taking the controls in level flight is something very special. This year’s programme was no exception! It’s such a privilege to play a small part in hearing what it’s like when such moments unfold – that’s the #powerof657”

Michael McGrath
CEO, The Muscle Help Foundation

About AeroBility

AeroBility is a user led British charity run largely by disabled aviators with experienced instructors trained to work with disabled individuals using adapted aircraft, making flying accessible for all. For more information about AeroBility, head to: www.aerobility.com

The Muscle Help Foundation is already looking forward to 2020’s Flying Muscle Dream programme – once dates are confirmed, the nomination process will open, most likely in the New Year, so be sure you watch this space!

If you would like to start a conversation about exploring the value of a strategic partnership with our charity or perhaps you would like to volunteer or fundraise for our cause, why not contact us today.

Covert electric Muscle Dream surprises 8yr-old DMD boy courtesy of Tesla

‘Mum’s the word’! Last Sat 20th July 2019, something wonderful happened, a surprise that a mother had kept ‘quiet’ from her beautiful 8yr-old son (no mean feat!) for nearly four weeks, a magical Muscle Dream that literally ‘unfolded’ in front of her son’s eyes or should we say the Falcon Wing doors of a terrific ‘blue’ Model X 6-seater P100D Tesla car!

Pictured above: 8yr-old Muscle Dream beneficiary Mitchell, now a fully-fledged Muscle Warrior

An experience that will live long in the memories of those who directly supported and indirectly witnessed what was a ‘unique reveal’ on the gravel driveway outside the front door of a stunning 5* hotel in the heart of the Cotswolds. The culmination of nearly a month of meticulous planning resulted in not just an exquisite lunch in a private setting overlooking rolling hills, the celebratory ‘blue’ balloons and the individually hand tied lavender stems precisely laid on ‘blue’ napkins or the VIP behind-the-scenes tour of the kitchens but… a cherished memory rooted in a powerful shared experience.

Imagine how you would feel if having enjoyed that lunch with your family and having spent some time familiarizing yourself with said ‘blue’ car unlike anything else on the road, distinctive, whisper-quiet and quick, a seriously cool set of wheels and a sci-fi panoramic windscreen to doors that ‘uplift’ for you, a car that gives its occupants things that other cars just don’t have… and you were 8yrs-old, and your favourite colour was ‘blue’ and you were obsessed with all things Tesla… and at the end of that amazing day, the keys of the car were handed over to your mum (the nominated driver!)… and guess what, it’s yours for the weekend! A priceless reaction, an intake of breath, the expected ‘really, you’re kidding’ observations, a massive grin, high-fives all round… you get the picture!

Pictured above: Mitchell seated in car and his younger brother, 5yr-old Freddie, saluting!

It’s true what they say that some memories are more than just heart-warming; they’re totally unforgettable, and this was no exception! The idea that a personalised experience, if well executed, can be ‘transformational’ lies at the heart of everything we strive to achieve; as a small charity rooted in family values, we need support so we can reduce the growing wait-list of nominations and do more.

And sometimes saying thank you to those who have helped feels inadequate – suffice to say that the charity’s Muscle Warrior tribal spirit is thriving! The attributes of kindness, generosity and goodwill shown by those who supported this unique Muscle Dream, have enabled a young boy and his family to come together and share a moment in time filled with joy.

What makes it all the more humbling is when that mum whose son is living with a progressive, life-limiting condition called Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) sends several messages back to the charity simply saying that her son had “the best weekend ever”, and “you really have given my little family the boost we desperately needed” and “I will forever be grateful”, our mission is complete and the gift that gives on giving, our community of supporters… await the next challenge!

Remember, mum’s the word : )

Mitchell’s mum Keira said in a number of messages:

WHATSAPP MESSAGE 1:

In Mitchell’s own words, his dream has come true. And that having this experience, has meant so much to him! He said this weekend has been the best ever! He also said, that all of you at the charity, and Tesla are so kind, for letting him, keep the car for the weekend! Thank you again, for making it possible, to make his dream come true. You are all completely awesome!! xx

WHATSAPP MESSAGE 2:

Thank you so much for Mitchell’s goodie bag; it is full of amazing stuff! He is in love with the Tesla hoodie! He said he wished we could keep it (the car) forever! xx

WHATSAPP MESSAGE 3:

Hi Michael, we have just got home now. Thank you so much to all of you, for making my son’s dream come true! We have all had such a special time! What you do as a charity, and as a family, is totally amazing! I will forever be grateful. A big Muscle Warrior salute, from all of us! xx

INSTAGRAM MESSAGE posted on the charity’s @musclewarrior657 page:

I can’t put into words how grateful I am. You really have given my little family the boost we desperately needed. Also, you have given us such special memories that we will cherish forever! xx

EMAIL sent to the charity, nine days after her son’s Muscle Dream experience:

“We are still feeling amazing, after Mitchell’s Muscle Dream! Like I said before, it really gave us a massive boost, of positivity, hope, and inspiration. We loved getting to know you all. Your charity is absolutely amazing! Thank you again, to everyone involved… we couldn’t of asked for a better weekend. Everything was more than perfect!” xx

With nearly 1 million views, the charity’s dedicated online Flickr Channel is a visual testimony of our charity’s work and impact – click HERE to see and share Mitchell’s official Tesla Muscle Dream photo album… as we say, that’s the #powerof657

The Muscle Help Foundation
Registered Charity NO. 1096716

 

Lussmanns Fish & Grill Restaurant Group adopts Muscle Help Foundation as official 2019/20 charity partner

The locals’ favourite sustainable eatery, Lussmanns Fish & Grill Restaurant has recently announced its adoption of the Muscle Help Foundation as the groups official 2019/20 charity partner.

Lussmanns Fish & Grill Founder & Director Andrei Lussmann said:

“I am absolutely delighted to announce our new charity partner Muscle Help Foundation (MHF), founded by Michael McGrath. A local charity rooted in family values, MHF delivers transformational experiences in the UK called Muscle Dreams for children and young people (8-28yrs) with Muscular Dystrophy (MD) and allied neuromuscular conditions. MHF gives its beneficiaries and their families hope, inspiration and empowerment.

Throughout the year there will be plenty of opportunities to get involved with our fundraising activities for this worthwhile charity, including our annual ‘Dream Team Dinner’ and MHF’s innovative ‘Meatballs for Muscle Dreams’ campaign – watch this space!’

MHF’s Founder & CEO Michael McGrath said:

“I am thrilled that the Muscle Help Foundation (MHF) has been adopted by Lussmanns as their official 2019/20 Charity Partner. It’s no secret I’m a long-standing fan of Lussmanns! With their five restaurants ‘doing Hertfordshire proud’ (The Good Food Guide), the charity is very much looking forward to working closely with Andrei and his team on a number of fundraising events, not least their annual ‘Dream Team Dinner’ which we plan to support in any way we can!

Having a local partnership with a business featured in the Sunday Times Magazine’s Best 100 Restaurants 2018 gives the charity an exciting opportunity to not only attract new ‘Muscle Warrior’ supporters from across the county but also raise much-needed awareness and vital funds so we can move closer to our goal of delivering 657 Muscle Dreams for children and young people with Muscular Dystrophy – that’s one life-changing experience for every muscle in the human body!

MHF is in the process of developing an innovative fundraising campaign called ‘Meatballs for Muscle Dreams’ – now whilst I couldn’t possibly reveal the ingredients that constitute my wife’s amazing meatballs recipe, I’ve no doubt that Andrei’s take on this dish will galvanise customers into consumption (not least of all me!) from Hertford, St Albans and Harpenden to Hitchin and my old home town of Tring… as we say in the charity, that’s the #powerof657!”

About Lussmanns Sustainable Fish & Grill

As published in the Times Newspaper, Lussmanns made it into Marina O’Loughlin and Giles Coren’s list of the 100 best places to eat in the UK.

The locals’ favourite sustainable eatery offers a relaxed dining experience for all the family in their stylish restaurants located in Hertford, St Albans, Harpenden, Hitchin and Tring.

Customers can choose from a range of beautifully balanced seasonal menus, including their extremely popular, value-driven set menu (2 courses £14.95, 3 courses £17.95, available 12-7pm daily) that includes both delicious vegetarian and gluten-free options.

In the words of British food writer, TV presenter and restaurant critic Giles Coren, Lussmanns is “everything a modern local restaurant should be”.

 

www.lussmanns.com

Muscle Warrior’ette Jackie heads to Brighton to flex her running muscles over 26.2 miles

Sunday 14th April sees the Brighton Marathon celebrate its 10th year! And we’re thrilled that among the thousands of marathon participants, we have an extraordinary lady called Jackie Bye who’ll be running in aid of our little charity.

Give it up for Jackie Bye (pictured above) giving a fabulous Muscle Warrior salute but also check out her absolute commitment in matching her chosen race-day nail varnish to our charity colours – now that’s real dedication!

And in terms of her fundraising efforts, over 30 supporters have so far donated on Jackie’s JustGiving fundraising page. The charity is absolutely thrilled that with less than a week to go, she’s hit her £657.00 fundraising target (click below to read more about Jackie’s story and to donate) in support of our Muscle Dream activities – as we say, that’s the #powerof657

If you would like to make a donation, just click Jackie’s JustGiving image above and be sure to leave a little message of support – thank you!

Jackie commented:

“It’s been a few years since I’ve done a full marathon (26.2 miles). Back in 2012 the Muscle Help Foundation hosted some 70 beneficiaries at the London Paralympics. My son Graeme and I were selected; we stayed in a hotel by the 02, we watched two events and we became part of the charity’s Muscle Warrior tribe! All the recipients had different types of muscular dystrophy incl Duchenne, Becker and Charcot Marie Tooth, the condition that Graeme has – 4 months after this Games Inspired Muscle Dream programme, Graeme was due to have surgery on his spine. Along with having CMT, he has scoliosis (curvature of the spine); Graeme received a phone call from the charity’s CEO Michael McGrath wishing him luck in the surgery.

So, to say thank you to Michael and his team, I’d like to raise money towards a Muscle Dream so that another Muscle Warriors, like my Graeme, can have an experience realised, as I know it will be something they won’t forget in a hurry!! That’s why I’m hoping to raise £657.00 in support of their #powerof657 initiative, that’s just £1.00 for every muscle in the human body”

£2500 donation from 2018 Ambition Sales & Marketing Conference presented to charity at Spotlight Theatre

The Muscle Help Foundation (MHF) charity was invited to attend a cheque presentation ceremony held at The Spotlight Theatre (Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire) on 8th January 2019 following on from last years ‘Ambition 2018 Sales & Marketing Conference’.

“On behalf of the charity, thank you so much to everyone who supported this amazing event! What a fantastic cheque to receive – £2500! WOW! As we say, that’s the #powerof657! This donation will help the charity deliver more of its transformational Muscle Dream experiences and ultimately, move us a little closer to our goal of delivering 657, that’s one for every muscle in the human body!”

SOURCE: MHF’s CEO Michael McGrath (pictured with Ambition sponsors & partners).

The special ceremony was attended by the sponsors and organising committee. Ticket sales from the event were donated to two local charities, namely the Muscle Help Foundation and The Tamba Bereavement Support Group – each charity received a donation of £2500 for each charity was presented in the form of a big cheque kindly organised by HB Accountants.

Ambition 2018 included the following businesses: Andy Lopata, Ashbourne Insurance, Cariad Marketing, HB Accountants, and the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce.

Sponsors and Partners included: Ambition Broxbourne (Broxbourne Borough Council), Ashbourne Insurance, Austins Family Funeral Directors, Cariad Marketing, Curwens Solicitors, The Hertfordshire Business Independent, The Mercury Newspaper, IT Builder, Mobile Stationery, RiskEye, Via Properties and SWCO Financial Planning.

Professional speakers included: David Thomas, Julie Creffield, Bryony Thomas, and Alan Stephens with talks moderated by Jeremy Nicholas.

Social media experts included: Cariad Marketing, Rubber Cheese, Mahon Digital.

Professional services donated: Alison Jenkins Photography, Creative Star Graphic Design.

Ambition is a community event, sponsored and organised by local businesses for local businesses, providing an opportunity to network with fellow professionals from Broxbourne and the surrounding areas.

Click HERE to learn more about Ambition

Click HERE for more info about The Tamba Bereavement Support Group

Click HERE to learn more about the charity’s #powerof657 campaign

Contact:
Lydia Drukarz, Director
Wavelength Public Relations
M. 07977 454180
E. lydia@wavelengthpr.com

Follow Wavelength PR on Twitter
http://twitter.com/WavelengthPR

 

MHF proud to support #RAREfest18 by Cambridge Rare Disease Network spotlighting rare conditions

It’s 2018 and rare diseases are still not being consistently diagnosed, treated and supported effectively. Conceived by the Cambridge Rare Disease Network (CRDN), RAREfest18 takes place on 30 Nov & 1 Dec at The Guildhall in Cambridge. The aim is to spotlight some of the successes and innovative solutions that are striving to address this imbalance – the event is free to attend.

It is hoped that the festival will raise awareness of rare conditions and bring together many stakeholders from across the rare disease community alongside the general public from across Cambridgeshire and beyond.

Together with a number of other rare speakers, our CEO Michael McGrath will be speaking at the Guildhall on Fri 30 Nov about his own journey of diagnosis, his polar motivations and the precious commodity of life experiences.

The exhibition on Sat 1 Dec will showcase cutting edge research, science, technologies, products and solutions alongside best examples of medical services, support networks and powerful patient stories. The exhibition aims to demonstrate and celebrate the breadth of excellence in this field, in Cambridge and beyond.

The Muscle Help Foundation is delighted to announce that it will have a presence as an exhibitor and as such, we would like to encourage members of the public, supporters, donors, friends of the charity and organisations with an interest to come along and meet some of our Ambassadors, as well as some of our long-standing volunteers and our CEO to learn more about the charity’s work and impact but also hear some exciting news!

RAREsolutions Poster Competition (with a conscience)

In addition, we’re also thrilled to announce the support of one of our Ambassadors, Vivek Gohil, who has agreed to help the poster competition with a conscience take off!

Designed to educate, engage and empower:

  • It will break down myths about rare disease
  • It will teach you about science
  • You will meet RAREpeople
  • You will see how technology and engineering can make things possible

Check out Vivek’s RAREsolutions challenge film below:

The Muscle Help Foundation charity is proud to be supporting the Cambridge Rare Disease Network and RAREfest18.

For more info, go to: http://camraredisease.org/rarefest/

Twitter: @camraredisease

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CambridgeRareDisease

  

  

Contact:
Lydia Drukarz, Director
Wavelength Public Relations
M. 07977 454180
E. lydia@wavelengthpr.com

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WOW! Award presented to Sonali Kumarakulsinghe by MHF Charity Trustee Board for invaluable contribution

The Muscle Help Foundation is delighted to nominate Sonali Kumarakulsinghe for a WOW! Award for her outstanding work, professional guidance and consistent advice since the charity was conceived 15 years ago.

The charity’s Trustee Board wish to show their gratitude for the many years of support and as such, have unanimously endorsed this WOW! Award in recognising her invaluable contribution, integrity and commitment. The Award was presented to Sonali (pictured below) by the Trustee Board on Thursday 4th October 2018 at Beales Hotel in Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

MHF’s CEO, Michael McGrath commented:

“The charity has a special partnership with The WOW! Awards. It’s a scheme that enables organisations to recognise individuals that provide exceptional value to a consistently high standard, people that go above and beyond! When the Muscle Help Foundation wants to say “thank you” – the WOW! Awards provide a great way for us to do this.

When for example suppliers to our Muscle Dream activities and/or partners deliver outstanding service on behalf of the charity and ‘our’ expectations are blown away, we like to nominate an individual or sometimes a team of people for a WOW! Award.

In Sonali’s case, I cannot think of anyone more deserving! She has and continues to be an invaluable support to the charity. Just saying thank you sometimes feels rather inadequate, so it was felt that a WOW! Award would be wholly appropriate.”

Since March 2015, the charity has made six WOW! Award nominations.

Click HERE to read Sonali’s full nomination and to see who else has received a WOW! Award.

Contact:
Lydia Drukarz, Director
Wavelength Public Relations
M. 07977 454180
E. lydia@wavelengthpr.com

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Charity CEO honoured by University of Hertfordshire with an Honorary Doctorate urges graduates to discover their purpose

The Muscle Help Foundation’s CEO Michael McGrath has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire in recognition of his motivational and inspirational work for persons with disability.

Described as one of the most influential disabled people in Britain, Michael McGrath (pictured below, left, with University of Hertfordshire Vice-Chancellor Quintin McKellar, right) was awarded a Doctor of Arts at a ceremony on Monday 3rd September 2018, held at St Albans Abbey, Hertfordshire.

Michael McGrath, the Muscle Help Foundation’s CEO said:

“I am incredibly humbled to receive this honorary doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire. Through the work of my charity and as a speaker, my disability has effectively become a passport for purpose, compassion and hope.

My message to today’s Computer Science graduates and young people across the country is simply this: with today’s world of algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI) and the rapid advancement of technology, the discovery of your purpose is vital. Fundamentally, this is about how you contribute in giving that most precious of commodities, your time, to others; this is about embracing the ethic of reciprocity that states ‘treat others as you would like to be treated yourself’ and finally, this is about allowing the virtues of compassion, generosity and kindness to rise up as your personal and professional lives unfold.

It is these virtues as opposed to today or tomorrow’s technologies that lie at the centre of our humanity, what continues to motivate and ultimately what gives our lives meaning.”

Michael, who lives near Hertford, faced head-on the challenge of being diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at the age of eighteen and became the first disabled person to lead successful expeditions to both the North and South Poles – the North Pole in April 2002 and the South Pole in January 2004.

Since then, Michael has become the driving force behind the Hertfordshire-based charity which helps children and young people with muscular dystrophy to realise their cherished ambitions – experiences in the UK called ‘Muscle Dreams’ that amongst other benefits improves beneficiary confidence, uplifts self-esteem and gives young people a voice.

The charity is a three-times winner of the ‘Inspiring Hertfordshire’ Award for Best Social Enterprise of the Year.

Fay Sharpe, Chair of the Board of Trustees for the charity commented:

“Many congratulations to Michael McGrath, our Founder and CEO, on behalf of the Board and my fellow Trustees. We are delighted that he has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts (Hon DArt) from the University of Hertfordshire, in recognition of his motivational and inspirational work in the field of disability. He was invested on Monday 3rd September 2018 at St Albans Cathedral by Professor Quintin McKellar CBE, the University’s Vice Chancellor” 

  

Michael is a recognised motivational business speaker and has been widely acknowledged for his achievements and his work. Among other recognitions he has received, for the last three years he has featured in the Power 100 for Britain’s most influential people with a disability and in 2016 he received the Inspiring Communicator National Award.

This news item was covered by the publications below; click the logos below for more info.

       

     

Contact:
Lydia Drukarz, Director
Wavelength Public Relations
M. 07977 454180
E. lydia@wavelengthpr.com

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