'Inspiring' Shane up for top award
A man who campaigns to make life easier for deaf and blind people has been short-listed for a national charity award.
Shane Roberts, 25, has a rare genetic and life-limiting condition called Wolfram Syndrome.
It causes sight and hearing loss, as well as a range of other health problems, including chronic fatigue.
Despite his disabilities, Shane, from Ashby, campaigns to make sure people like him get the support they need.
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He said: "Wolfram Syndrome affects every aspect of my life and when I have a problem it's very difficult to get it sorted as very few people know about the condition."
Shane, who relies heavily on e-mail to communicate, represented the national charity for deafblind people, Sense, at a meeting with organisers of the Olympic and Paralympic games. The aim was to make sure as much as possible was done so that people like himself could enjoy the Games.
He has also lobbied MPs over issues such as social care funding and against possible cuts in funding for support.
Shane, who has a dog, Dash, said: "I enjoy making a difference and everything that somebody does to help does make a difference."
When asked how he manages to stay so positive when so many people would find his position to be defeating, Shane said: "I'm not sure. I just manage somehow and stay as positive as I can."
He has now been short-listed in the category Young Deafblind Person of the Year by Sense.
Liz Ball, from the campaigns team at the charity who nominated him, said: "Shane tirelessly supports campaigning and policy work to improve the lives of deafblind people.
"In particular, he has supported the Sense campaign, calling for fairer social care and welfare reform and has met his MP several times to discuss the difficulties deafblind people face when trying to access social care.
"He also contributes to campaign blogs, writing about his own experiences of travelling to marches and lobbying events and inspiring others to get involved, despite the obvious difficulties of travelling around the country."
Hannah Tompkins, head of holidays and events at Sense, said: "Shane acts as an advocate for young deafblind people across the country."
Shane said: "I am over the moon to be nominated because I want to tell other young deafblind people that the sky is the limit. If there is something you want to do in life, just go out there and do it."
The winners will be announced next month.