British Empire Medal for Elaine

By Connie Osborne Monday 16 June 2014 Updated: 17/06 09:20

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Buy photos » Elaine Daykin has been named in The Queen's Birthday Honours for her work with Special Olympics Redditch. Picture by Marcus Mingins 2514004MMR

A BOROUGH support worker has received a British Empire Medal in recognition of her service to disability sport.

Elaine Daykin, has been named in the Queen's Birthday Honours, receiving the accolade after setting up Special Olympics Redditch.

The 58-year-old formed the group, which provides year round sports training and competition opportunities for people with learning disabilities, after her son Richard was diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

The support worker for Mencap has spent over two decades as secretary, gymnastics head coach and new age kurling coach, while raising more than £250,000 to help Special Olympics Redditch survive.

Special Olympics Redditch is the only club in the West Midlands accredited with the prestigious Sports England Clubmark and has on average 49 people take part.

In 2009, she won the Special Olympics Volunteer of the Year Outstanding Contribution Award for the West Midlands and has twice received the Mayor of Redditch’s Annual Award for outstanding contribution to the community.

She said she felt there was a lack of after-school activities and community support for children and adults with special needs, and while her one son enjoyed football there was nothing for Richard who is 34.

"I have two sons, one who could join any group he wanted to. My second son did not have the same opportunities," she said.

I used to think why couldn't Richard have the same?

"He loved football and I wanted him to enjoy it and have an activity he could put his energy into.

"I'm jusy completely overwhelmed by the news, it's great."

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