BHAVINI Makwana has won an award from the Prime Minister for her dedication to helping others with the degenerative eye disease Retinitis Pigmentosa.
Bhavini, the Activities Co-ordinator at East London Vision, was presented with the Points of Light award by Samantha Cameron, on behalf of her husband Prime Minister David Cameron, at a reception held at 10 Downing Street on Tuesday night.
The Points of Light award is an award from the Prime Minister which recognises outstanding individual volunteers who are making a change in their community.
Bhavini was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) 19 years ago and has since dedicated her life to supporting others with the eye disease.
She founded Social Eyes, a support group which gives people with RP an opportunity to socialise and have fun together, and regularly staffs the RP Fighting Blindness charity helpline and organises fundraising events.
Bhavini has also worked extensively to raise awareness of the condition among the at-risk Asian community by organising information days combining speakers with activities such as Bollywood dancing.
Bhavini said she felt humbled and extremely grateful for the award.
“It’s an honour accepting this award and to be recognised for my passion in promoting and fundraising for RP Fighting Blindness,” she said.
“They (RP Fighting Blindness) helped me find my confidence within myself and made me realise you can still achieve your ambitions even with Retinitis Pigmentosa.
“It took me a very long time to accept and come to terms with my deteriorating sight loss and I wanted to reach out to others who may be going through the same and raise awareness of the invaluable support RP Fighting Blindness provides.”
Bhavini thanked RP Fighting Blindness for helping her live her life to the fullest.
“Thanks for my recognition and thank you to my family, especially my husband Paresh, for their support in enabling me to do what I do.”
In an article posted on the Points of Light website, Prime Minister David Cameron says: “For almost two decades Bhavini has worked tirelessly to support people who, like her, are living with Retinitis Pigmentosa. Her work to raise awareness of the condition amongst Asian communities and create the Social Eyes support groups is changing the lives of people with RP and those at risk of developing it. Bhavini is a Point of Light.”
To find out more about the Points of Light awards visit www.pointsoflight.gov.uk
Photo of Bhavini and Samantha Cameron courtesy of the Points of Light awards.