Edgbaston father, Saeed Ahmed, has been named ‘Campaigner of the Year’ by the national disability charity, Sense, for sharing his family’s story of caring for his 21-year-old disabled son, Azhar, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Saeed, 44, was recognised at the Sense Awards 2020 for supporting the charity’s #ForgottenFamilies campaign, which called on Government to reinstate services for families caring for disabled adults at home during lockdown.
As part of the campaign, Saeed presented Sense’s open letter to the Government asking for better support for families like his during the pandemic. He also gave interviews with national and regional media, including ITV News, to share his family’s story and highlight the devastating impact of the lack of support for families caring for disabled adults at home during lockdown.
When the UK entered lockdown in March, Azhar’s usual care and support stopped completely, and Saeed and his family took on all caring responsibilities. The sudden change of routine was frustrating for Azhar and affected his wellbeing, as the family was unable to explain why he was forced to stay at home.
Saeed Ahmed said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been nominated for and won the ‘Campaigner of the Year’ award for 2020. Sense as an organisation is close to my heart as they provide invaluable day care for my son and I’m glad that I have supported the recent campaign to highlight the difficulties that families like mine have faced throughout lockdown.”
Sense Chief Executive, Richard Kramer, said: “Congratulations to Saeed, our ‘Campaigner of the Year’ for 2020. This year has been challenging for everyone, but particularly for those caring for disabled people at home during lockdown. Despite this, Saeed committed to being involved in Sense’s #ForgottenFamilies campaign, calling for change for not only his own family, but the many other families across the country who also face this crisis.”
The Sense Awards recognise the outstanding achievements of people with complex disabilities, as well as the staff, carers, family members, volunteers and fundraisers who support them.