An event to launch the memoirs of Sir Bert Massie CBE DL, will be held in Liverpool Town Hall on 25th June. The event, which will be hosted by The Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson OBE, will pay tribute to the life and work of Sir Bert, Vice Chairman and long-standing Trustee of Local Solutions and a key figure in the disability rights movement.
The event will mark the publication of Sir Bert’s memoirs ‘A Life Without Limits’. After contracting Polio as an infant, Sir Bert spent his life as a wheelchair user and could relate to the discrimination that disabled people face every day. The autobiography tells the story of his life in Liverpool, the prejudice he faced due to his disability and his journey as a disability rights activist. All proceeds will be donated to the charity, Local Solutions, who Sir Bert was a longstanding supporter and Trustee at.
Roger Philips from BBC Radio Merseyside will MC the event and guests will hear speeches from Lady Massie, former CEO of the Disability Rights Commission, Bob Niven, Chairman of Local Solutions, Nigel Lanceley and their Chief Executive, Steve Hawkins. Cllr Pam Thomas from Liverpool City Council will also say a few words in honour of Sir Bert.
130 guests are expected to attend and these will be drawn from disability organisations, both national and local, including former Disability Rights Commission Colleagues. There will also be family members in attendance, key people from voluntary and faith organisations, Councillors and Council leads and Trustees and staff from Local Solutions.
Sir Bert Massie’s expansive career saw him take on several important roles including; Chairman of the Disability Rights Commission, Chief Executive of the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation, Governor of Motability, a scheme for disabled drivers, Vice President and Patron of a number of disability charities and a Governor of LJMU as well as serving on a number of government advisory committees concerned with disability.
He played a significant role in the establishment of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, was knighted in January 2007 and was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of Merseyside in 2014.
Sir Bert sadly passed away in October 2017, after losing his battle with cancer.
Steve Hawkins, who is Chief Executive of Liverpool’s Local Solutions, said: “Sir Bert is greatly missed by us all – his wise and humorous guidance was inspiring. The cause of the human rights of disabled people, championed by Sir Bert, is something that remains a key priority for the board at Local Solutions.”