799. Mikey Akers
Mikey Akers, aged sixteen, from Coventry, is the founder of ‘Mikey’s Wish’, an organisation that raises awareness of verbal dyspraxia as well as supporting others who suffer from the speech disorder.
Mikey was diagnosed with verbal dyspraxia aged two, and was later inspired to raise awareness of the condition when he heard about the difficulties his mother experienced when trying to find information and support. After writing a popular poem about his struggles, he now has a blog that supports fellow sufferers and their families. He has raised over £5,000 for the ‘Dyspraxia Foundation’ as well as funding speech therapy for four students in his primary school. Mikey will receive the award at an event organised by the ‘Dyspraxia Foundation’ to mark Dyspraxia Awareness Week.
In a personal letter to Mikey, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Through ‘Mikey’s Wish’ you are raising the visibility of verbal dyspraxia and ensuring that other people with the condition are supported. You should be incredibly proud of your achievement in creating your own organisation at such a young age, despite your own personal challenges with the condition.”
“I am surprised and very honoured to be recognised for such a prestigious award from the Prime Minister. All I had been doing was trying to raise awareness of the little known neurological condition, Verbal Dyspraxia, originally so that I didn’t feel quite so isolated. I then realised through the responses I received just how much people, and their families, with the same diagnosis needed support. This led me to set up ‘Mikey’s Wish’, with the support of my family, to raise funds and much-needed awareness. I would just like to say a huge thank you for even considering me for this award as this will help with my mission to raise the profile of Verbal Dyspraxia.”