ME Research UK’s Founding Patron receives honorary degree

ME Research UK’s Founding Patron, Roger Jefcoate CBE DL, has been awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of the University (Hon. DUniv) by the University of Buckingham.

The insutitution, in announcing the conferring of the degree, highlighted that

For over sixty years Roger has worked to enhance the use of technology for people living with a disability, starting with the ten years he spent at Stoke Mandeville Hospital developing such equipment.

This included Possum, the world’s first remote-controlled system for disabled people which fittingly takes its name from the Latin word for ‘I can’. Roger not only played a key role in the development of this equipment but was instrumental in ensuring it was available to all disabled people through the NHS. Throughout his career Roger has given his time, knowledge, and resources as an independent advisor, often on a voluntary basis knowing the financial pressures already facing those needing his help the most.

For his services to disabled people Roger was appointed CBE in 1998 and he has further served as chairman of The Princes Trust between 1990 and 1997 and as Deputy Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire since 2011. He continues to provide support to various causes through the numerous charities he has founded or supports through the Roger and Jean Jefcoate Trust.

The University of Buckingham

Universities confer such honorary degrees on persons who have made major contributions in their particular field – and this is certainly the case for Roger. He worked with Ludwig Guttman (founder of the Paralympics) to develop independence enhancing technology for those severeley disabled at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and, later at the National Spinal Injuries Centre, developed pioneering remote control systems that enabled wheelchair or bedbound users to call for help and to operate appliances around the home. The team also developed the first adapted computer and the first portable speech aid.

His philanthropic initiatives include being the co-founder of Medical Detection Dogs and Canine Partners Patron of Wheelpower (the national charity for wheelchair sport, based at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, the birthplace of the Paralympic Movement), The Sequal Trust (the successor to the Possum Users Association), MK SNAP, and Founding Patron of ME Research UK.

Both inspirational and also practical, Roger and his late wife Jean established The Roger and Jean Jefcoate Trust which has awarded millions of pounds to health and disability charities nationally – including ME Research UK.

ME Research UK congratulates Roger on the recognition of his contribution to charity through many decades and, as he is reported as having said about receiving his degree, its conferment was “a great honour and a lifetime highlight.”

Verified by MonsterInsights