Wednesday 2 January 2019
Martin Stevens has been awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours for his services to people with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Martin Stevens, 55, was diagnosed with MS in 1995 and has been supporting people with the condition and other disabilities for more than two decades. He began volunteering with the MS Society following his MS diagnosis, serving in various roles, including as chair of the Macclesfield group, and as a trustee until 2014.
Mr Stevens, who lives with his wife and two teenage children in Macclesfield, is currently a trustee at the MSIF, a global network of MS organisations. He is also Chair of the Board of Trustees at charity Disability Rights UK.
Mr Stevens said:
“To be appointed OBE is a fantastic and unexpected honour. Being diagnosed with MS in 1995 was a life changing event. For more than 20 years I have been able to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life for people affected by multiple sclerosis both here in the UK and across the world.
“More recently with Disability Rights UK, I have had the opportunity to work more widely on equal participation for all people affected by disabilities. Through this journey I have been privileged to work with dedicated teams and inspirational people.”
Patricia Gordon, Acting Chief Executive at the MS Society, said:
“Martin has made an enormous contribution to the MS community and supported people with MS over many years, and I’m thrilled he’s been recognised in this way.
“More than 100,000 people in the UK are affected by MS, and through his experience living with the condition and his dedication as a volunteer and Trustee, Martin will have helped many of them.”
Peer Baneke, Chief Executive Officer of MSIF, said:
“Martin has contributed a great deal, both within the UK and at global level, drawing attention to issues that are crucial from the perspective of people with MS. Two issues have particularly benefited from Martin’s attention and advocacy. The first is how the quality of life of a person with MS is closely linked to that of their families, friends and loved ones. When one is affected, so is the other.
“The second issue Martin has driven forward is that every person with MS, wherever they live in the world, should have access to effective medicines, treatment and healthcare – an aim which the global MSIF movement is now actively pursuing.”
Kamran Mallick, Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK, added:
“We’re delighted that Martin has been recognised for his local, national and international work around disability and disability issues over the last 20 years.
“His commitment to disability rights, and vision for disabled people to be treated equally, has been a key element of his contribution to our work. We have really appreciated having his experience and passion to draw on during his time as a board member, and chair, of the organisation.”