Headline-worthy volunteering

We interrupt your reading to report on a truly remarkable young man! Multi-talented Christopher Porter, 33, has worked tirelessly across North Yorkshire to promote inclusion, including writing articles for his local newsletter. We investigate the man behind the headlines.

A positive role model

Christopher has a learning disability and cerebral palsy. His passion for making his community more inclusive is inspiring, and has shown others what can be achieved. He is a role model for many people, with his articles in the Craven Gazette and on the Keyring website being shared on social media to highlight important issues.

10 years of voluntary work

He certainly likes to be kept busy! Christopher also volunteers at South Craven Library, Fallfest (an annual arts festival) and Skipton Oxfam. He is a member of the Craven self-advocacy group, co-chair of the Craven and Harrogate local area group and a member of the North Yorkshire Learning Disability Partnership Board. As co-chair of the Exclusively Inclusive steering committee, he helps to organise community activities.

Citizen of the Year Award

In February 2019, Chris was named Craven’s Citizen of the Year. This award is given to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the local community. The rural area can mean Christopher travels for over two hours to get to meetings, but he takes it in his stride. Through his hard work and determination, he has become known and respected for his ability, rather than his disability.

Sharing skills

Katie Peacock from Exclusively Inclusive says: “Chris never misses an opportunity to share his skills, gifts and talents to help make this community a better and more inclusive place to live and work. It is always a privilege to work alongside him. His passion and commitment to stand up for himself and his peers is awesome!”

“I am passionate about all the things I do to improve my own life and the lives of others.

“This takes a big commitment and a lot of energy. When people work together everyone can all make a difference to their community whether they have a disability or not. I encourage everyone I know to do their bit.

“At times my speech can be a little unclear but I persevere to have my voice heard to speak up for myself and others.” – Christopher

How does it feel to be a Learning Disability and Autism Leader?

“I feel very privileged to have been named a Learning Disability and Autism Leader for 2019. It shows how hard I have worked through the years in my role being a self-advocate. I attend and contribute to lots of different meetings where I speak out on behalf of myself and other people who have a learning disability and/ or autism and I always encourage other people to have a go and contribute to their communities.”

“I found this story very touching, especially when he goes out of his way for other people. It’s clear what he does comes from a place of passion and it’s great that he got people to listen to what he had to say. I feel he has made a positive difference to his life and others.” – Leaders’ List 2019 Judge

In the press