Nikkan Woodhouse, who leads Dignity in Dying’s Brighton & Lewes group, was awarded the Romey Brown Memorial Prize this week for her outstanding and inspirational campaigning over the past year.
Nikkan joined Dignity in Dying to campaign for a change in the law to allow terminally ill adults in their final months the option of a safe, legal assisted death. The organisation is currently supporting Noel Conway, a 68-year-old man with terminal motor neurone disease, to bring a legal case fighting for his right to an assisted death.
The Romey Brown Prize, presented to Nikkan on Tuesday 17th July at Dignity in Dying’s Annual General Meeting in London, is awarded in memory of patron Rosemary “Romey” Brown OBE, who sadly passed away in March 2017. Romey was a supporter and campaigner alongside her husband, Peter Brown, for over 20 years. Romey firmly believed that the law on assisted dying needed to change, her passion for this and commitment to the campaign were inspirational.
As lead campaigner for the Brighton & Lewes group, one of over 40 across the country, Nikkan dedicates time to the campaign speaking to MPs, holding events to help educate and inform on the issues around assisted dying, and raising public awareness. She said:
In creating the Brighton & Lewes Group I have learnt so much more about the complex issues facing our campaign, and the fears and misconceptions that are preventing Parliament from acting on the overwhelming public support there is for assisted dying. I really hope that the work we do might contribute in some way to a better understanding and acceptance of assisted dying as a safeguarded choice in the future. Such laws have been proven to work successfully in other jurisdictions and are fast being considered in many new places so it seems the time is ripe for the UK to properly weigh up the evidence.
Fran Hall, Campaigns and Outreach Officer, added:
“Nikkan has gone above and beyond for the campaign and is a deserving winner of this prize. She has reached out to local doctors and clergy, organized well-attended and thought-provoking events, handed out many a leaflet at stalls and on high streets, and attended local and national demonstrations. She has done fantastic work persuading new MPs and candidates to support law change on assisted dying, and encouraging supportive MPs to do more for the campaign. Some of the MP’s she has spoken to on the subject include Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Caroline Lucas and Peter Kyle; all of whom have proved supportive and helpful advocates.
“We are very grateful to Nikkan for her dedication to the cause and all that she’s done to raise awareness in Brighton and Lewes.”
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Notes to Editor
About Dignity in Dying
Dignity in Dying campaigns for greater choice, control and access to services at the end of life. It advocates providing terminally ill adults with the option of an assisted death, within strict legal safeguards, and for universal access to high quality end-of-life care.