The National Children's Bureau and the Council for Disabled Children (which is an integral part of NCB) are delighted that Christine Lenehan has been made a Dame in the Birthday Honours List 2016.
Christine Lenehan, Director of the Council for Disabled Children said:
'I am extremely proud to accept this honour on behalf of all the children, young people and families whose lives are affected by disability or special educational needs.
'Christine has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of disabled children and those with special educational needs for over forty years and this is well-deserved recognition of her lasting contribution.
'Anyone who has met Christine will testify to her wit, wisdom and energy, and her relentless dedication to raising standards for children and young people with disabilities is unrivalled. She has played a significant role in making sure the views, needs and experiences of disabled children and their families are represented in decisions that affect them and there will be a resounding welcome for this award across the voluntary sector.'
Biography of Christine Lenehan
- Christine Lenehan is a national leader in supporting children with disabilities. Starting work at 16 as a volunteer at a long-stay mental health institution she went on to become a social worker in 1980.
- As Director ofthe Council of Disabled Children since 2003, she has provided strong leadership and advice to both the public and private sectors. CDC is now the national authority in the field. She has been instrumental in advising successive governments on legislation for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
- Since 2011, she has led strategic reform for the Department of Education, putting in place 1300 Independent Support staff around the country who provide vital help to 22,500 families and young people.
- Since 2012, she has been Co-Chair of the Children and Young People's Health Outcomes Forum, developing practical improvements to young people's healthcare.
- She also serves on the board of Healthwatch England and, until 2015, was a board member of the Every Disabled Child Matters campaign.
- Christine was awarded on OBE in 2009. Her tireless advocacy will leave a lasting legacy for children and young people.