Uttlesford advocate for disability rights on Queen's New Year Honours
PUBLISHED: 09:14 31 December 2015 | UPDATED: 09:14 31 December 2015
Graeme Whippy, from Great Sampford, says he is “over the moon” to have received an MBE in the New Years Honours List for services to people with dementia and disabilities.
As an advocate for accessibility and disability rights, Graeme’s work, with his employer Lloyds Bank and other organisations in the business sector, has helped more than 25,000 people with adjustments in their place of work.
He also personally led the creation of the dementia friendly Financial Services Charter, which is now being used across the industry to help companies recognise and understand the needs of customers suffering from the disease.
Graeme formed and chairs the Saffron Walden Dementia Action Alliance, working for the rights of people living with dementia and their carers in the community.
He said: “I have to admit, it is thrilling. I’m over the moon to be recognised for my work with dementia and people with disabilities.
“I thoroughly enjoy the work that I do and it always feels worthwhile to be helping people. I’ve had to keep it quiet, and only my wife, four children and parents have known about it.
“I have to thank my wife Rachel, she has been such a support for me throughout, but particularly in the last 15 years.”
Graeme began his career at Lloyds in 2001 as an IT project manager and in 2005, he persuaded the bank’s board to set up the IT Accessibility Centre of Excellence.
His work on the Group Disability Programme at Lloyds has included the design and implementation of an innovative reasonable adjustment process for colleagues, as well as improving guidelines for disabled employees and customers.
Since 2012, Graeme has represented Lloyds Bank on the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge, which is tasked with improving dementia care and services.
Graeme will collect his MBE at Buckingham Palace sometime within the next seven months.