Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, presented an inspirational disability ambassador and campaigner with a Whizz-Kidz Young Leader award at an event at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Saturday.
Lexian Porter, 19, received the award as part of the National Paralympic Day and Liberty Festival, a free event where members of the public were invited to try Paralympic Sports and enjoy a line-up of deaf and disability arts.
Lexian received the award for successfully completing the nine modules of the Whizz-Kidz Young Leaders programme, which is an inclusive personal development scheme designed to help young wheelchair users increase their skills while gaining experience they can put on their CVs.
Lexian first joined Whizz-Kidz as an Ambassador nearly a decade ago, and since then she has demonstrated inspirational leadership qualities in her championing not only of Whizz-Kidz’s work, but also of the big issues affecting disabled young people in the UK today. A keen basketball player, she has led sessions designed to teach younger wheelchair users about the sport, and inspire them to get active.
On receiving the Award, Lexian said:
“Receiving my award from the Mayor of London was a lovely surprise. To be honest – because I’d been helping out at the Ambassador Club – it was a bit of a shock; as I’d forgotten I was supposed to get my award that day! I’d definitely put Sadiq Khan presenting me with my award in my top highlights of the year.
“The Young Leaders’ programme has given me the opportunity to really develop my own skills, and share them with others. Without the support of Ali and Hannah I don’t think I’d have been able to whizz through it like I did! I’ve enjoyed being useful, and taking responsibility most of all.
“All the skills we use or learn while doing the Young Leaders’ programme are transferrable toward employment in the future – that’s why I love the programme, and why I’d encourage all Whizz-Kidz Ambassadors to become Young Leaders themselves.
“I'm so proud of what I've achieved with young leader programme and I know other Ambassadors would be too, if they joined up."
Ali Hall is Whizz-Kidz’s Young Leaders Programme Coordinator, she said:
“Lexian is an absolutely amazing ambassador for Whizz-Kidz, so we’re really happy that the Mayor of London was able to present her with our Young Leader award.
“Everything Lexian does to support Whizz-Kidz is designed to inspire others and help disabled young people be the very best they can be. We’re really proud of her, and hope she’s proud of herself for everything she’s achieved.”