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  • Writer's pictureThe British Polio Fellowship

Chair of British Polio Fellowship awarded honorary degree

Gordon Richardson, Chair of the British Polio Fellowship Board was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Bristol in April.

An honorary degree was presented to Gordon Richardson age 69, in the Great Hall of the University as part of its Graduation Day on 11 April. The award was in recognition of his contribution to local and national disability charities.

On the day, more than 300 fellow graduates received their degrees and after collecting his honorary degree, Gordon spoke to students to encourage them all to become charity trustees while young and skilled.

The University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, Professor Judith Squires, added: “Since leaving us nearly 50 years ago Mr Richardson has impressed with his finance acumen and his generous spirit.”

As a polio survivor after contracting polio age 3 in Hong Kong, Gordon went on to apply for a place at the University of Bristol to study for a 3-year degree in Economics and Accountancy. Competing against 400 applicants, Gordon was awarded a place and began his life as an undergraduate in 1971.

After working in the finance sector for over 30 years as a qualified Chartered Accountant and Financial Advisor, Gordon retired age 50. Since then, he has dedicated his time and effort to working with charities supporting disabled people.

Gordon explained: “When I retired, I thought to myself, I have got so much out of society, not least in medical support over the years, it’s time to put something back in.”

Gordon began his charity work as co-founder of the Vassall Centre Trust (VCT) in Bristol, a building offering barrier-free workspace for disabled people. Later in 2014, he left the Trust and took on the role of Co-Chair and Treasurer of the Bristol Disability Equality Forum. The Forum advises Bristol City Council and NHS on provisions for disabled people. Additionally, he became a Trustee at Designability, a charity designing and developing assistive technology. Gordon has now stepped down from the Board, after serving nine years.

At the British Polio Fellowship, Gordon took over as Chair in March 2022 and remains a local Branch Chair and Regional Treasurer.

“As National Chair I’m looking forward to working with the Board and Kripen Dhrona, our Chief Executive Officer to develop a new strategic plan that will meet the needs of our members and the wider polio community.”

The British Polio Fellowship congratulate Gordon on his achievement.

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