Barnsbury disability champion Jean is ‘woman of the year’!

DISABILITY rights champion Jean Willson has been named one of 400 “women of the year” – accepting the prestigious accolade on behalf of “the silent minority” of Islington parents who care for their children full time.

Mrs Willson, 68, from Barnsbury, whose daughter Victoria has severe learning difficulties, was invited to an annual lunch held by the Women of the Year Foundation last month to honour the personal and business achievements of women from across the UK and Europe.

She said: “I felt I could only accept on behalf of all those women who care for someone with a learning disability in their family - the silent minority who work away quietly and for years, with hardly any recognition. I feel that all those women in Islington who silently support will through me feel recognised and honoured.”

Mrs Willson was given a Civic Award by the Mayor of Islington in March for tirelessly lobbying the council to improve the lives of 1,300 Islington families that care for adults and children.

She is also heavily involved in the nationwide Changing Places campaign, which has seen Islington’s first adult toilet changing facilities at Centre 404, in Camden Road, Holloway.

Mrs Willson added: “There is a tremendous amount of work to do, and in these difficult economic and changing times we will need lots of champions in the learning disability world, and especially for those that support them.”