Theresa May praises physio’s work in Sierra Leone

The British prime minister has praised a physiotherapist for her ‘life transforming’ work with children in Sierra Leone.


Physiotherapist Anna Vine receives her award from Guy Warrington, the British high commissioner in Sierra Leone

Theresa May wrote a personal letter to physio Anna Vine to congratulate her on receiving a Points of Light award, which the government awards each week to inspirational volunteers who make a change in their community and inspire others.

The prime minister told Miss Vine: ‘Your work in Sierra Leone is transforming the lives of local children. The specialist care you provide is not only addressing their physical needs, but also tackling the stigma of looking after disabled children.’

Miss Vine is programme director for Enable the Children, an organisation that provides community-based physiotherapy to children with conditions such as cerebral palsy.

Originally from Dorset, she first travelled to the west African country in 2011 and now lives in Freetown, the capital city.

She told Frontline: ‘I am honoured to receive a Point of Light award. I share this award with the Enable the Children team, who work tirelessly to improve the lives of our more than 580 children with disabilities in Freetown.

‘We meet their families at home, where we can encourage and teach them how to do exercises and positioning with the kids. We also provide locally made equipment to help our children gain maximum function and independence.

‘We work with community leaders to educate them in how to support these children, particularly by helping them facilitate sustainable family support groups, which we hope in time will unite the families and communities against the stigmatisation of their children.’

Author: Robert Millett

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