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Young campaigner for disabled backed by city MP

PUBLISHED: 12:16 19 February 2011 | UPDATED: 12:16 19 February 2011

Ben Parkin from Norwich

Ben Parkin from Norwich

ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC © 2011

A young Norwich campaigner who has muscular dystrophy joined activists from across the country to launch a new parliamentary group which will tackle obstacles faced by disabled people.

Ben Parkin, 22, who lives near Grapes Hill, travelled to Westminster to address MPs on the difficulties encountered by young disabled people.

Mr Parkin, who has duchenne muscular dystrophy, and the rest of his team of Muscular Dystrophy Campaign Trailblazers are conducting an investigation in to the issues affecting disabled youths.

Last week he joined Norwich South MP Simon Wright at the first meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Young Disabled People.

He said: “The Trailblazers joined forces to identify the greatest barriers that young disabled people face both in everyday life and in achieving their goals.

“Together we have investigated the challenges faced by people in everything from finding a place at an accessible university and carving out a career with a disability, to being able to enjoy a night on the town with friends and finding budget airlines that will carry an electric-wheelchair.

“Through these new regular meetings with MPs, we hope to play our part in finding solutions to some of these problems.

“It is great to have the support of Simon Wright, and to be able to speak with him about what could be done in Norwich South in particular.”

Liberal Democrat Mr Wright said: “I give my full, whole-hearted backing to Ben and what he is trying to achieve as part of this new parliamentary group. We need to work together towards tackling the uphill struggle that young disabled people face to achieve goals in life taken for granted by non-disabled peers.

“It is not right or fair that everything from accessing higher education and employment to using public transport and socialising with friends and family is still an uphill struggle for many.

“There is much that can be done here in Norwich South, to put more consideration into our environment, our attitudes and our awareness, and I look forward to working closely with Ben and the Trailblazers towards moving this forward.”

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