Michael Holden in New Year Honours List
PK Shutters are delighted to announce that one of their directors’, Michael Holden has been awarded an MBE by the Queen in this New Year Honours List, the award was made for services to the disabled community in Northern Ireland and comes following extensive awareness raising by Michael, to the needs of people with disabilities.
Michael, who has Motor Neurone Disease, is a member of several organisations; besides working here at PK Shutters, he is also an active member of the Belfast Centre for Independent Living, in Belfast as well being a member of the European Network for Independent Living in Brussels as well as Deputy Chairman of a patient working group at the Royal College of GP’s here in Northern Ireland.
The Royal College of General Practitioners NI (RCGPNI) welcomes the news that Mr Michael Holden, deputy Chair of the RCGPNI Patients in Practice Group and Chairman of Trip-Ability, has been awarded an MBE for services to disabled people in Northern Ireland.
The award comes after many years of work on behalf of people with disabilities.
Michael Holden moved to Northern Ireland in 1999 when he married his Belfast-born wife Jennifer. In 2002, their daughter Georgia was born, followed by son Noah in 2005. It was when Noah was diagnosed with epilepsy and autism in 2008 that the inner workings of the health service became important to Mr Holden and his family.
In December 2010, Michael Holden was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, giving him a new determination to refocus and reflect on his life goals. At this point in his life, Michael looked for ways to assist others in a similar situation to his own. In 2013, he joined the RCGPNI Patients in Practice (PiP) Group and became deputy Chair the following year.
Over the past four years, Mr Holden has been involved in numerous projects to help assist people living with disabilities including the launch of his website ‘Trip-Ability’, working in the education sector to advance disability awareness training and addressing conferences to highlight the challenges people with disabilities can face in relation to finding employment.
Reflecting on his MBE award, Mr Holden said: “I was so shocked when I heard. Keeping the whole thing a secret has been a trial. It is an honour that my work on behalf of disabled people has been recognised in this way and I intend to continue to work to ensure that the ongoing need for improvement for disabled people remains a priority. I plan to continue lobbying the policy makers for as long as I am able and I whole heartedly thank my wife Jennifer and children Georgia and Noah, who continue to support me in whatever it is I get up to.”
Chair of RCGPNI, Dr Grainne Doran said: “We are delighted that Michael’s hard work has been recognised. He has been a champion of general practice for many years and ensures that the voices of patients are heard throughout the health service. He is a true advocate for people with disabilities in Northern Ireland.”