1311. Shamus Butt
Shamus Butt, from Reading, is a medical student who has drawn on his experience supporting his severely disabled twin brother to co-found a disability charity which supports BAME families who have children with special needs to access the support and services they need.
Shamus’s charity INSAAN (Integrated Network for Special and Additional Needs) has supported hundreds of families in Reading and formed partnerships with three leading schools in disability in the area, working closely with ethnic minority communities for consultation on disability issues. Shamus has also led work on renovating respite centres in Reading to provide the necessary facilities for those with complex needs, and the organising of special respite days for families to escape the difficulties of caring for their loved ones.
In a personal letter to Shamus, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward, but allow me to offer my own recognition of how you are supporting families in Reading to overcome the stigma of helping children with learning difficulties and special needs, and directing them to their local support services.”
Alok Sharma, MP for Reading West and keen supporter of INSAAN, said:
“Shamus is an incredibly committed and selfless individual who has done brilliant work thorough INSAAN to support those with special needs. I am delighted that his charity work is being recognised with a Points of Light Award and I wish him the very best with all his endeavours.”
“I am overwhelmed to receive the Points of Light Award today and would like to thank the Prime Minister for this recognition. Tackling the taboo of disability within families and amongst communities is crucial in our society. As such, INSAAN has been a challenging but rewarding venture to help pave the way with this work and make a truly tangible difference to individuals with disability, and their families. I have been honoured in such a fruitful position to help make the world a better place and aid those less fortunate than ourselves. But this award is truly dedicated to my family who have motivated me to tirelessly contribute towards altruistic endeavours, and to all those we have ever supported in any capacity – the satisfaction of being able to improve others’ lives has made it truly worth it.”