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Appropriate Paper-Based Technologies

961. Janet Ivin
962. John Carter

Janet Ivin and John Carter, from Berkhamsted, are training Occupational Therapists around the world using innovative new technologies that produce essential rehabilitation equipment from waste paper and cardboard.

Janet Ivin and John Carter

These ground-breaking ‘Appropriate Paper-Based Technologies’ allow equipment such as walking frames, callipers and hand braces to be made to people’s individual specifications at low cost. The method also means equipment can be made quickly and with less damage to the local environment. Janet and John have delivered training in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on multiple occasions, ensuring local therapists can produce equipment independently and support patients and families to use it.

Janet and John are among six volunteers specially recognised to coincide with the Global Disability Summit, co-hosted by the UK’s Department for International Development with the International Disability Alliance and the Government of Kenya and taking place on the 24 July at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London. The summit will bring together leaders from the private sector, governments, donor agencies and charities to raise awareness and show a commitment to transform the lives of people with disabilities.

As part of the build-up to the summit, Janet and John were invited to a roundtable hosted at the Department for International Development by Lord Bates, Minister of State for International Development, where they were also presented with their awards.

In a personal letter to Janet, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“The ground-breaking training you and John provide is revolutionising the care therapists in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka can offer patients. With the ability to produce equipment quickly and inexpensively, local therapists are able to provide aides made to people’s individual specifications and transform lives.”

In a personal letter to John, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“The work you are doing with Janet is transforming lives in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. By training local therapists to use new technologies to produce equipment made to patients’ individual specifications, you are supporting people to live fuller, more independent lives.”

David Gauke, MP for South West Hertfordshire, said:

“I am delighted to hear the Prime Minister is recognising two of my constituents from Berkhamsted, Janet Irwin and John Carter, with a Points of Light award. It is a great privilege to be presented with one of these awards and it is well deserved for their training of occupational therapists using ground-breaking technology in the UK and internationally.”

Janet said:

“When I received the telephone call informing me that I had been chosen to receive the Points of Light award, I could not comprehend what I had just been told. I feel very humbled and honoured that my passion for volunteering my skills in Appropriate Paper-based Technologies and occupational therapy has led to this award. It has also been very affirming for me.”

John said:

“Shocked – flabbergasted – to be honoured with the Point of Light award. Volunteering is my passion. I love teaching Appropriate Paper-based Technologies to benefit disadvantaged people in developing countries, sharing my knowledge with others knowing that when I return home our students are enthused to share their new skills. I feel very humbled to be receiving this award. Thank you.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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