Clare Gray, disability advocate and campaigner, died on Tuesday 3 October, following a short illness.
Clare was hugely well regarded for her advocacy work and involvement in the Disability Power 100. The Disability Power 100 was the project of which she was most proud, having been part of it from its inception as a judge, to its current status as a globally recognized award. Her work on the project prevented Clare from being recognized in the Disability Power 100, however, it is accepted across the disability community and beyond that Clare was one of the most influential disabled advocates campaigning in the UK in the last decade.
For her colleagues, Clare embodied Shaw Trust, having worked with us for almost 20 years. Her work leading disability advocacy across Shaw Trust ensured she was a popular and knowledgeable colleague, who was never afraid to challenge anyone. She made many of us think differently and – more importantly – considerably more deeply about inclusion, disability and human rights.
Clare established and chaired our Disability Equality Network, where employees and volunteers come together to share knowledge and understanding about each other’s experiences.
Those of us who knew Clare will have memories of her great generosity and willingness to share her knowledge, time and smile. Her loss will be felt deeply.
To honour Clare’s work, her colleagues are pulling together to deliver the Disability Power 100 event in November, ensuring it is the best it can be, as a tribute to her campaigning and advocacy work.
“If you inspire people to make change, and to change their attitudes, to change their thoughts about disability…. I’m okay with that. Because it makes me feel that I’ve done good. I’ve done well for other people.”