Stevenage's Gemma Keir has been recognised with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Points of Light award, for her not-for-profit children's book series.

Gemma's series promotes inclusion and celebrates ability in children with additional needs.

Her first book was dedicated to and inspired by her son, Logan, who has a rare condition called 22q Deletion Syndrome.

The Comet: Gemma has released 14 books in total, each inspired by children she's worked with to promote inclusivityGemma has released 14 books in total, each inspired by children she's worked with to promote inclusivity (Image: Courtesy of Gemma Keir)

Following this, she was inspired to work with other families of children
with additional needs to create further books celebrating ability and raising
awareness of other conditions such as hydrocephalus, autism, congenital heart defect, type 1 diabetes, tube feeding, tracheostomy, speech delay, Down's syndrome and ADHD.

Books are donated to hospital settings and disability charities, with profits helping fund equipment and sensory room projects in schools.

The Comet: Gemma Keir's 'The Abilities in Me' book series has been recognised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the Points of Light awardsGemma Keir's 'The Abilities in Me' book series has been recognised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the Points of Light awards (Image: Courtesy of Gemma Keir)

Gemma said: "Wow, I am so speechless to have received the UK's 1,719th Point of Light! The abilities in me were founded in late 2018, as I wanted to create a children's book for my son, to help him learn about his diagnosis but also for his young friends to understand.

"I also found, as a parent, there is a lot of information for the grown-ups but little resources for the child. So this was a great way to go forward, as children love picture books.

"Since I released that book, I have managed to release a further 13 books on other conditions. Every book is dedicated to and inspired by a child in real life and I have built this series with Adam Walker-Parker who has done some amazing work for us to bring the books to life through colourful illustrations.

"I work with many charity services and include them in the books to help families find support. We have also just registered with the charity commission as a foundation, so we can continue to create these books, which sell worldwide.

"All proceeds currently go into the production of the books and towards sensory projects. I want to bring sensory environments into schools, to help make them a more inclusive safe place.

"We donate to many hospitals and we are teamed up with the play team at Great Ormond Street. I visit many schools and we are just in the process of setting up workshops.

"I Zoom class settings internationally and I do this with all my heart, in the
spare time I have around having three children of my own and caring for my own child with medical needs. I want the world to be more accepting and inclusive.

"I truly believe that teaching children from a young age about disabilities will help them grow with compassion, kindness and understanding.

"Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for recognising The Abilities in Me and these incredible children. They truly deserve to be recognised for their bravery and together, we can make a change!

"It means a lot to me as I work so hard behind the scenes and I feel incredibly emotional for this recognition."

Congratulating Gemma on her award, Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland said: "Congratulations to Gemma Keir for creating the charitable book series, ‘The Abilities In Me’.

"Gemma's books are promoting inclusion and celebrating ability in children with additional needs. Stevenage can be very proud of the work Gemma is doing.

"I am glad that her hard work has been recognised by the Prime Minister through the Points of Light award."

To find out more about The Abilities in Me, click here.

Gemma is the 1,719th person to receive the Prime Minister’s UK daily Points of Light award, which was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a difference where they live.