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Michaela Hollywood is among world's 100 most inspiring women

By Victoria O'Hara

Published 19/11/2015

Michaela Hollywood has worked to boost awareness of the rights of young disabled people
Michaela Hollywood has worked to boost awareness of the rights of young disabled people

A dedicated campaigner who has raised thousands of pounds for good causes and boosted awareness of the rights of disabled young people has been named as one of the world's 100 most inspirational women of 2015.

Michaela Hollywood from Crossgar spoke of her pride after being hailed by the BBC alongside other influential women from across the globe.

Each year the BBC names its 100 most inspirational women from the fields of politics, science, entertainment and everyday life.

Michaela (25), who has the congenital muscle wasting condition spinal muscular atrophy, has previously been recognised by Prime Minister David Cameron for her services to young disabled people.

After experiencing difficulties accessing a music concert in Belfast in 2008 she founded Trailblazers, which lobbies for disabled youth.

Starting with a group of 20 peers in her local area, Muscular Dystrophy UK then secured £250,000 to expand the network to the rest of the UK.

The group now involves around 600 people.

Its aim is to fight the social injustices experienced by young disabled people and to ensure they can gain access to education, employment and other services.

"I'm hugely honoured to have been included among 100 of the world's most inspirational women of 2015 by the BBC," Michaela said.

"It is a huge honour to represent Northern Ireland on a world stage and it will hopefully help to make society more inclusive.

"It is a big thing that we are progressing.

"Not only is it an accolade for me and an honour for me to have been named in the list, but I think that it is a big accolade for all those that are involved in the charity work of Trailblazers."

Also on the list is Nicola Adams, the world's first female Olympic boxing gold medallist and current Commonwealth and European flyweight champion.

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