A young boy from Bridgend received a Bridge FM Young Achiever Award in recognition of his campaigning for blind and partially sighted people in South Wales.
Harley Morris, seven, is a pupil at Litchard Primary School and has been registered as partially sighted since birth. He was given the Young Contribution to Community or Environment prize at the Bridge FM awards ceremony on Friday 22 November.
Harley received the award because of his work on a national campaign to make Welsh streets safer and more accessible for blind and partially sighted people, led by his mum Rhian Morris.
Rhian, 33, is also partially sighted and is calling on the Welsh Government to ban pavement parking across the country. She has been working with RNIB Cymru to collect over 1,000 signatures on two petitions and will be presenting evidence to the Welsh Government Petitions Committee in January. Harley has helped his mum every step of the way by handing out flyers and appearing on local TV and radio to promote the campaign.
Clear pavements are essential for blind and partially sighted people, and parking on pavements can cause serious problems. Pavement parking is currently only illegal in central London, but many MPs and campaigners are calling for a nationwide ban.
Rhian Morris said: “Harley was overjoyed to win the award, when he found out he couldn’t sit still. He has been working so hard to help me with the campaign. Even though he is still so young he understands how important it is for his safety and for the lives of other blind and partially sighted people across Wales.
“The campaign is going really well. We have picked up a lot of support from people all over Wales and made lots of wonderful new friends. So many people have contacted us to help. It shows the scale of the problem and proves that change needs to happen.
“Harley knows that this is a chance to build a future where he can be independent. He tries so hard and puts his all into everything he does but he gets very anxious about roads which limits his confidence and ability to get out and about. So many people don’t realise how pavement parking impacts blind and partially sighted people on a daily and long-term basis. I want him to grow up thinking that he can do anything regardless of his eye condition.”