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Disability campaigner makes prestigious Power list

Mark Briggs with two staff members from Nimbus at Alton Towers

Mark Briggs, Director of Partnerships at Derby-based social enterprise Nimbus Disability and vice chair of Mansfield’s Portland College has been named as one of the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK - working to break the stigma around disability to create a more accessible and inclusive world for all.

Mark [pictured above on the left], who lives in Nottinghamshire, has been named in the Digital and Technology category in recognition of his work to develop the internationally-recognised Access Card.

The Disability Power 100 celebrates ambition and achievement and plays a role in changing society by recognising the strengths and talents of disabled people who are pioneers, changemakers and influencers.

Previous winners of the Disability Power 100 number one spot have included comedian and presenter Alex Brooker, campaigner and peer Baroness Jane Campbell, BBC disability journalist Nikki Fox.

Mark spent most of his childhood in hospital with a very rare bone disease that ultimately made him decide to have his leg amputated. He commented that it was like having a splinter removed and he became pain free from that moment on. 

At 15 he returned to education and then went on to the world of work. But it was the opportunity to take part in para sport that was the catalyst and this truly from an opportunistic meeting with someone in a supermarket that asked him to come and give sport a try. Great Britain representation followed quickly as did Team GB. 

'From there on I was dedicated to a pathway of supporting disabled people, supporting people to reach their potential, sport did it for me and I needed to ensure those opportunities were there for all disabled people,’ Mark told ABLE2UK

Mark has been instrumental in the massive growth of the Access Card which has been recognised with The Queen’s Award for Innovation and is held by hundreds of thousands of people in the UK and beyond who register their accessibility requirements.

Nimbus originally created The Access Card, the first accessibility scheme of its type in the world; offering a universal and consistent way of disabled people evidencing and communicating their access requirements to providers quickly and discreetly.  

Portland College has also played a key part in Mark's life in recent years. 'I wanted to put time into a local organisation that supports disabled people and again, from a chance conversation, an opportunity arose for me to join the Board of Directors and now I reside as Vice Chair. It's been an absolute pleasure to work with the Senior Leadership Team and support the college's growth to be one of the largest and most prominent specialist colleges in the UK. We even achieved a full 5 x Ofsted OUTSTANDING grading this year!'

[ The Power 100 Top Ten list is published this Wednesday 8th November ]

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