Timothy Young took out the Attitude Community Champion Award at the annual event, held in Auckland last week.

“Timothy is an advocate with a goal to allow everyone to participate in the community, economy, and job market. By running for the local council, he has given a spotlight to many long-running inequalities, which has led to a shift in focus from the Hamilton City Council to invest in more inclusive facilities,” according to Attitude’s website.

The Attitude Awards are about celebrating achievements of the disability community and has been running for over a decade. Tim was a finalist alongside Jenny Hogg and Thomas Tuki.

When Tim is not working for BAIL as a Research Assistant, he is involved in several other important enterprises. He works for Disabled Person’s Assembly as part of their Mahi Tika—Equity in Employment project.

He also runs his own business, Smart Access whose current projects include accessibility audits of infrastructure for local and central governments, tracking movements of people with a disability, innovating streets to include everyone, assistive technology and inclusive workplaces and policy advising.

Tim and his wife Erika are expecting their first child in February. This has added extra motivation to pursue the establishment of what will be New Zealand’s first Magical Bridge Playgroup—designed to be an inclusive playground, for all ages and abilities.

When Tim was running for Hamilton City Council, he heard from parents who were frustrated that there was no suitable playground for their disabled children, especially after two council playgrounds had just been upgraded. Tim recognised this as a missed opportunity to do better.

“The Magical Bridge is recognised by the World Economic Forum as the gold standard for inclusive playgrounds,” explains Tim.

This is not the first time Tim has been a finalist for an Attitude award, having been previously nominated for the Entrepreneur award in 2018.

This award is about “Kiwis Helping Kiwis— someone who goes above and beyond to make a meaningful difference,” according to the website. “We’re seeking an ordinary, yet exceptional, disability champion or volunteer, someone who has enriched the lives of a person or persons with disability.”

Congratulations Tim from everyone at BAIL. A well-deserved award.

You can watch the full Awards Special on TVNZ On Demand.

Timothy with his wife and colleague at the award ceremony