Activist and disability advocate Lucy Watts MBE has been awarded an honorary Masters from the Open University for her commitment to public services.
The 24-year-old has a complex life-limiting condition and has received palliative care since the age of 17. She requires intravenous feeding, fluid and medication on a daily basis, and she is cared for at home by intensive care nurses and overnight carers.
Lucy is an outspoken campaigner for the needs of young adults due to her personal struggle to get adequate care as she transitioned between childhood and adulthood.
In 2013, when she was 19-years-old, Lucy gave a speech to MPs in the House of Commons where she spoke about the gaps in palliative care for young adults. In 2016 she received an MBE for services to young people with disabilities. She is also an ambassador for Together for Short Lives and a member of Hospice UK’s People in Partnership forum.
Writing on her blog about receiving the honorary Masters, Lucy said:
“What an incredible thing to receive, to be recognised in such a way, to be deemed worthy and to receive it from an institution I greatly respect and admire for its accessibility, openness and commitment to both making higher education accessible to people from all walks of life – especially disabled people – as well as for its commitment to furthering knowledge on a vast range of topics, both of which it excels at.
“I am truly honoured to have received this honorary masters but I accept it not just for myself, but for all the people and organisations who have played their part in my life, believed in me, kept me alive, given me quality of life, supported me and enabled me to achieve all that I have achieved and had an impact on me and my life in whatever way.”