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Congratulations to Michael!

Our chair of trustees, Michael Gray, is being honoured by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland with a prestigious Champions of Change award.

Held annually, Champions of Change are part of Rotary’s Champions Awards, which recognises unsung heroes whose volunteering efforts have had a huge impact on people’s lives both at home and internationally.

Michael, who is a member of the Rotary Club of Fleetwood, will receive his award during a virtual ceremony on Wednesday 30th June alongside 11 other recipients as well as last year’s winners whose ceremony was postponed due to COVID-19.

Living on the promenade at Rossall, near Fleetwood, Michael had noticed that families with a wheelchair-user often had to leave them on the pavement overlooking the beach while others enjoyed walking on the sand and running into the sea ... the idea for Fleetwood Beach Wheelchairs was born!

The search for this year’s winners was carried out across Rotary’s vibrant network of over 1,700 Rotary clubs, with Rotary members and also members of the public having their extraordinary work recognised. This ranged from feeding disadvantaged people during the COVID-19 pandemic to knitting teddies for children in emergency care.

Tom Griffin, President of Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland, commented: “What a simple but wonderful idea. Michael deserves huge congratulations. His hard work

and thoughtfulness mean that a day at the seaside for families with a wheelchair user is now an inclusive event. Everyone gets to enjoy the beach and no-one gets left behind!

“He has set a great example, one that exemplifies the spirit of Rotary, and shown himself to be a true Champion of Change.

Michael added, “No-one should be denied the pleasure of the beach, of feeling the sea, of breathing the air, gathering shells or just laughing with friends and family. It’s been an honour to be able to achieve this with our Team of dedicated and hard-working volunteers. We have only just started.”

Well done Mick, a hugely deserved award.



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