Inspirational volunteer Jeff Johnson has been named a Point of Light by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Winner of our Volunteer of the Year award at the 2014 National Badminton Awards, the 71-year-old from Ashton-in-Makefield was recognised for his outstanding contribution to the community.
Jeff has spent over 35 years coaching badminton and encouraging athletes with disabilities to play, spending the last seven years volunteering with the Special Olympics.
Jeff has trained over 50 people with disabilities to play including his daughter Hazel, who won two gold and one silver medals at the Special Olympics World Games in 2011.
The teaching assistant started playing badminton when he was 23. He began volunteering in 1978 when he joined Bryn Badminton Club. He now volunteers over 500 hours each year and is currently Head Coach, Welfare Officer and Treasurer of Wigan Badminton Development Group.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Jeff has given thousands of hours over the last 35 years to making sure badminton is an inclusive sport. He has given hundreds of young disabled people the chance to play badminton and he has been a wonderful asset to the Special Olympics, not least by coaching his daughter to bring home three medals for Britain in the Special Olympics World Games.”
Jeff said: “I don’t believe in the saying “you only get out what you put in.” I have received more than my share of pleasure from my volunteering. To see athletes having fun and gaining self-esteem however small the goal is fantastic.”
Yvonne Fovargue MP said: “I was delighted for Mr Johnson when I found out that he has won this award. Mr Johnson has been a community stalwart for over 35 years helping thousands of local people and giving up so many hours of his own time to make his community a better place. His work with the disabled is also to be commended. I am pleased that Mr Johnson’s contribution has been recognised in this way.”
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