Local hero takes role as college patron

‘Blind Dave’ Heeley announced as Patron of local specialist college.

As Queen Alexandra College celebrates twenty years as an independent charity this year, they have recently announced that local legend ‘Blind Dave’ Heeley has taken on the role of Patron of the College.

QAC is a national specialist college for people with disabilities, based in Harborne, Birmingham. They offer a range of courses and programmes to help students learn new skills and develop a sense of independence.

Dave knows the value of the work the College does first hand as after being diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at an early age, he went on to have various jobs, even running his own business, before joining QAC as a student in 1997.

He spent three years at the College, where he developed a range of practical skills as well as confidence and even more determination. This, combined with the day he met his first guide dog, really did put Dave on the road to independence removing the sense of vulnerability and frustration he previously had.

As well as supporting their students, QAC works hard to raise awareness around disability in the wider community, breaking down barriers and increasing understanding, so they are thrilled to have an ex-student take on the role of Patron.

Dave says “QAC is a great place and I wouldn’t be where I am now without the support I received. I’m honoured to be asked to be Patron and use my personal experience to show QAC’s students today what is possible, helping encourage and inspire them”.

Chris Bradshaw, Chair of QAC Governors, commented “2017 is a special year for QAC, marking our 20th anniversary as an independent charity. To have Dave, an ex-student, join us as Patron is a fantastic way to mark the occasion and I’m sure will be a real inspiration to the students”.

QAC is celebrating twenty years of independence this year so if, like Dave, you are an ex-student or ex-staff member and would like to share your memories, contact them at [email protected]