897. Grace Warnock
Grace Warnock, aged 12 from East Lothian, is a pioneering disability campaigner who created a new, inclusive toilet sign which can now be seen on the doors of hundreds of disabled toilets across Scotland, including the Scottish Parliament.
Grace, who was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at the age of ten launched her ‘Grace’s Sign,’ campaign to raise awareness that not everybody who uses a disabled toilet has a visible disability after continually facing criticism for using a disabled toilet.
The sign is on toilet doors in a variety of places, including airports, public venues and football stands. Grace’s local Labour MSP Iain Gray supports her campaign and was instrumental in having her sign added to the disabled toilets in Scottish Parliament. Her work has also inspired the UK’s leading Crohn’s charity ‘Crohn’s and Colitis UK’ to campaign for better signage in supermarkets, a small way of helping the 300,000 people in the UK living with Crohn’s Disease, Colitis and other forms of IBD.
Grace received her award from MP Martin Whitfield (left in picture) and MSP Iain Gray (right in picture) on Thursday 3rd May.
In a personal letter to Grace, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Your innovative and pioneering campaign is making life easier for people with disabilities across Scotland and raising awareness that not all disabilities can be seen. You have already achieved so much by ensuring the signs you created are hanging in so many public spaces and your continuing work will take your important campaign from strength to strength.”
Martin Whitfield, MP for East Lothian, said:
“Grace has received many accolades and awards for her amazing ‘Grace’s Sign’ campaign, all of which are very well deserved. It has had a profound and far-reaching impact on awareness about the lives of people with ‘invisible’ disabilities and understanding of their need to use accessible toilets.
“This Points of Light award puts Grace in a very select group of outstanding volunteers across the UK. It is an honour to be able to present her with the award and I wish Grace and her family continued success with the campaign.”
Iain Gray, MSP for East Lothian, said:
“I have been honoured to help and support Grace and her campaign from the outset. She has been instrumental in raising awareness about disabilities that cannot always be seen and the needs of the people living with these conditions. She showed great insight in coming up with the idea of ‘Grace’s Sign’ in the first place, and her dedication to carrying it out has been exceptional.
“Throughout the campaign Grace has had to cope with all the usual pressures of growing up as well as managing her own condition. Her commitment to this cause is truly inspirational and she fully deserves this latest recognition for her work.”
“Thank you so much for my Points of Light Award and for raising awareness of my ‘Grace’s Sign’ Campaign. It is awesome to receive this award in the Year of Young People here in Scotland. I promise to continue with my campaign and raise awareness of all invisible disabilities.”
Below: an image of Grace’s Sign