PHAB has announced that following his retirement in June as Chairman of Phab, John Corless OBE has accepted the role of Patron, succeeding Lord Snowdon who, before his death in 2017, had been Patron of Phab since 1974.
Introduced to Phab by its then President Sir Cliff Richard in 1972, John passionately supported the charity’s aim that disabled people should enjoy the same rights and privileges as non-disabled people and has worked tirelessly for their equality ever since. By promoting the Phab philosophy of inclusion so widely, both locally and nationally, he has successfully changed the attitudes of millions in the UK towards disabled people and transformed the lives of many thousands of children and adults who have, and continue to benefit from Phab’s social activities, inclusive projects and support.
Throughout nearly 50 years of exceptional leadership of Phab, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2017, John has worked tirelessly to develop Phab’s charitable work. He implemented imaginative fundraising, enabling Phab to offer vital support and guidance to over 150 volunteer-run social clubs and projects benefitting over 8,000 members many of whom are disabled and have complex needs. He has been a prime organiser of over 200 events raising large funds for Phab’s work. Empathy with the members is self-evident and he is greatly loved by them all.
In 1999 he introduced the annual Phab Awards to recognise outstanding achievement by Phab’s volunteers and members and reward the significant achievements of individuals.
He has inspired volunteers who have emigrated, to open clubs, following the Phab ethos of inclusion, in Hong Kong, New Zealand and Israel, spending time with staff and volunteers in Hong Kong during a personal holiday in 2012 to see their achievements and to exchange ideas. He has also mentored organisations from Poland and China who sought advice on the Phab model of inclusion.
He was awarded an OBE in January 2009 for voluntary work and has continued to provide outstanding leadership and significant new initiatives for the benefit of disabled children, young people and adults.
As Phab’s Patron, John will continue to support all areas of the charity’s work in England and Wales and Phab are proud to celebrate his leadership and the significant contribution he has made for 50 years.