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Lewisham campaigner up for award for his work trying to improve lives of people with sight loss – South London News


A railway safety campaigner whose partner fell under a train has been shortlisted for an award for his outstanding work to support people with sight loss.

Sekha Hall, from Lewisham, will hear on March 29 whether he has won the RNIB See Differently Award,

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Sekha’s partner of 20 years, Cleveland tragically died after falling from a train station platform.

Now Sekha has been shortlisted in recognition of his campaigning work to prevent further platform fatalities.

The 60-year-old is in the Campaigner of the Year category for showing great commitment and courage in working to improve the world for blind and partially sighted people.

The Eden Park Station platform Cleveland fell from in February 2020 had no tactile paving.

When Sekha received a copy of the Rail Accident Incident Report and learned that one third of platforms in Britain don’t have tactile platforms, he was horrified.

The campaign eventually took Sekha to the Department of Transport and a meeting with the then Rail Minister.

He said: “I didn’t want Cleveland to be a statistic. I wanted to raise awareness of the situation at stations. They are dangerous places for blind and partially sighted people. Something needed to be done.”

Sekha said being nominated was “an honour” and he “felt humbled” to be shortlisted, but added that he was not used to the limelight and his only motivation was to reduce the risk of further tragedies through better audio announcements on platforms and faster rollout of tactile paving across the entire train station network.

He added: “Cleveland loved life and wouldn’t want anything to happen to anyone else. He was a people person who told great stories, had friends all over the globe, livened up any party, and adored birds and animals. He’d stay up late on a winter’s night listening to the foxes and the song of a robin.

“I met Cleveland in 2000, the year he lost his eyesight – it was the beginning of a love affair that would endure for over 19 years. We had many plans for the future, but sadly these never got to happen.”

The RNIB See Differently Awards, which will be hosted by TV personality and entrepreneur, Amar Latif, will recognise and celebrate outstanding work to support people with sight loss. They aim to highlight the contributions being made to break down barriers and improve the world for people with sight loss.

RNIB CEO Matt Stringer said: “The RNIB See Differently Awards celebrate people who are dedicated to making the world a better place for blind and partially sighted people. Our shortlisted National Finalists are all brilliant and we wish them the best of luck.”

The awards are across seven categories: Campaigner of the Year, Community Contributor of the Year, Best Social Media Impact of the Year, Team of the Year, Employer of the Year and Volunteer of the Year and the Design for Everyone Award.

The award winners will be announced at a ceremony which will take place at 8 Northumberland Avenue on 29 March 2022.

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