David Sawyer, MBE is a Brighton resident who has dedicated his life to voluntary work and fundraising for charities. He was honoured with an MBE for his work in 2017.
David first helped pupils from Hamilton Lodge School for Deaf Children aged 15, in 1951, when he was doing his paper round and he spotted a pupil have a fall. He rushed over to help and that was where his support for the school began. Here David describes this in his own words:
“One day one of the pupils, tripped and fell so I rushed to pick her up. She couldn’t speak and I couldn’t sign but she was obvously in distress so I took her to the Matron’s house on the corner. Four or five days later I met the little girl again on the street. This time she rushed up to me and shook my hand emphatically in thanks. I still see this same girl, now a grown woman, who lives in the St. Peter’s area. Maria Polanski still remembers what happened all those years ago. In fact, it was that experience with my paper round that I resolved that one day I would help the school.” David Sawyer, MBE
Reacting to the news that the Sensory room would be named in his honour, David said:
“I am very overwhelmed with this honour. I am grateful for this prestigious award in naming the new facility after me. It has been a great privilege to have been associated with the school all these years.”
David spent many years fundraising for the school and whilst working at American Express during the 1980s. Through his efforts the children got some audiological equipment which was incredibly high-tech for its time providing a direct audio link for children with the teacher’s voice.
David served as a Trustee and Governor for 29 years until last year when he reluctantly stood down due to ill-health.
“In gratitude to David Sawyer, we are naming our new Sensory room after him for his long service. His commitment to the school and our pupils has been outstanding and we wanted to acknowledge all he has done for us, since he was a paperboy aged just 15.” Billy McInally, Principal
The room was officially opened on Friday 22nd March by the Mayor, Cllr Dee Simson. The Mayor and local MP, Lloyd Russell-Moyle made speeches praising David Sawyer for his life-long record of voluntary service and his commitment to the city’s deaf children.