Search

Romford teacher recognised by Prime Minister for volunteer work that benefits people around the world

PUBLISHED: 13:00 26 July 2018

Geraldine O'Grady from Romford was awarded the Points of Light Award by the Prime Minister on July 25. Picture: Geraldine O'Grady.

Geraldine O'Grady from Romford was awarded the Points of Light Award by the Prime Minister on July 25. Picture: Geraldine O'Grady.

Archant

A special needs teacher from Romford has been recognised with an award for her volunteer work that has led to the creation of an international charity.

Geraldine O’Grady was selected for the Points of Light Award on Wednesday, July 25 for supporting students with developmental disabilities.

She said: “I can’t quite believe that what started off as some voluntary work in India led to the setting up of a charity that would go on to train more than 5,000 educators and therapists in 20 countries and reach 600,000 people.

“I was passionate about sharing skills and I am so proud that this led to so many more people being able to do the same.

“I am pleased and humbled and incredibly grateful that my work is being acknowledged in this way.”

The special needs teacher began travelling to India with the support of the Rangoonwala Foundation in 2008 to meet and train teachers how to work with children with special needs.

The impact of her work inspired the foundation to create the MATIS disability charity in order to deliver training to education and healthcare professionals across more countries.

With Geraldine as founding trustee, MATIS now operates in 21 countries and has trained more than 4,700 staff working in the disability sector, including therapists, nurses, doctors, special educators and staff working in children’s homes.

In a personal letter to Geraldine, Conservative prime minister Theresa May said: “Your decision to volunteer your skills in Indian special schools has done so much to support children with developmental disabilities to be able to access education.

“Your work inspired an entire charity and now, as a result of your ideas and energy, hundreds of thousands of people have benefitted across the world.”

Geraldine is one of six volunteers to be specially recognised to coincide with the world’s first ever Global Disability Summit which took place on July 24 at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.

As part of the build-up to the summit Geraldine was invited to a roundtable hosted at the department for international development where she was also presented with her award.

Latest Romford News Stories

15:00

Medieval England was slow to develop a cash economy. Coinage was in short supply.

12:00

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

The well-publicised delay to the Crossrail project will have come as frustrating news to many residents in our part of London.

Yesterday, 15:00

A look back at the biggest local stories from this day 60, 40 and 20 years ago

Yesterday, 14:00

We talk to hundreds of local business owners every day; we hear their concerns, understand their challenges and share in their successes.

Yesterday, 13:34

Officers forced entry to the address this morning (Saturday, September 22).

Most days we’re told we are too fat, too lazy and we have to do something about it. And that’s just from my friends.

Yesterday, 09:28

Rabbit hay was used to hide more than £10million worth of cannabis on a lorry stopped at the Dartford Crossing.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now