Leonard Cheshire Scotland Champion
1265. Madeline Hayes
Madeline Hayes, from Inverness, is a 13-year-old volunteer who has transformed the lives of disabled people at Leonard Cheshire House social care service in Inverness by delivering creative classes to enable people to learn new digital technology skills.
Madeline, known as Maddie, is one of Leonard Cheshire in Scotland’s youngest volunteers and has been an active befriender for those facing isolation in Inverness for the past three years. Realising that many of the residents knew little about the internet, and the benefit learning new digital skills could bring them, she developed training classes specially adapted to their needs, as well as launching a series of explanatory YouTube videos.
In a personal letter to Madeline, 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 opening up the world of digital technology and the opportunities that these technologies offer to connect disabled people and combat isolation.”
Stuart Robertson, Director of Leonard Cheshire in Scotland, said:
“We are all immensely proud of Maddie and the amazing contribution she has made to the lives of our residents at Cheshire House. Everyone loves Maddie! She’s been a breath of fresh air – thanks to Maddie, individuals have gained vital skills and can now feel the benefits of the digital age.”
“I am so humbled by this award. I feel so lucky being able to volunteer in such a nice environment where I’ve always felt welcome.
“I help out when I can and I don’t think of volunteering or befriending as something I have to do; it’s something I choose to do.”