PM awards outstanding Para Dance volunteer
The Prime Minister has on, 29 November 2018, recognised Patrick McGeough, from Watford, for his exceptional voluntary service as Director and Trustee of of ‘Para Dance UK’, a charity that promotes dance and coordinates inclusive leisure activities.
Patrick, who has been a wheelchair user since a stroke in 1997, first got involved with the organisation when he approached them in 2011 and asked them to help him and his wife with the first dance at their wedding. To thank them for their support and help promote the benefits of dance for wheelchair users, he became their volunteer CEO and helped expand the organisation to support more than 30 groups across the UK. The charity has 90 qualified volunteer instructors and supports para dance professionals in international competitions.
Patrick is the latest recipient of the Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.
In a personal letter to Patrick, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“The success of ‘Para Dance UK’ is a testament to your extraordinary determination and ability to inspire others to enjoy the benefits of dance. Thanks to your leadership, disabled people from across the country have been able to access this fun and inclusive activity.”
Richard Harrington, Patrick’s local MP for Watford, said:
“Huge congratulations to my constituent, Patrick McGeough, for achieving the Points of Light award as recognition for his outstanding voluntary work as CEO of ‘Para Dance UK’. Patrick has overcome personal challenges and now his hard work is transforming lives up and down the country. Having met the local group, I know their enthusiasm is inspirational, and so this award is very well deserved.”
“Volunteering as CEO for ‘Para Dance UK’ means so much to me and I love knowing that I have helped people and made them feel they can be part of the Dance community, be it for fun, creative or competitive reasons. To receive this award makes me so proud, mainly as it gives awareness and highlights ‘Para Dance UK’ and shows the hard work and dedication of all the Trustees, staff, volunteers, Instructors that work within ‘Para Dance UK’ to make it the charity it is today. I cannot thank you enough for this honour, it really does mean so much to me.”
Patrick is the 1061st winner of the Points of Light award, which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA. Over 6,000 Points of Light have been awarded in the USA, and former Presidents have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK. There is a similar cross-party approach to the UK programme and MPs from different parties often present their constituents with their Points of Light awards.
Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Points of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.