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It was a day of surprise and delight for Cecilia Sullivan-Grant when she received a call to tell her she had won a Kiwibank Local Hero Award, the same day she welcomed her first grandchild in to the world.
''It was the best compliment I had ever received, I felt incredibly flattered and humbled,'' Mrs Sullivan-Grant said.
The award was given to Mrs Sullivan-Grant for the 14 years she had dedicated to helping the severely disabled find meaningful employment.
She worked with 40 businesses as a self-employment adviser, helping those with disabilities into roles or to start their own businesses.
Helping those with disabilities had been an incredibly rewarding career path, Mrs Sullivan-Grant said, one she fell in to.
''I have learnt so much. These people live their life at a different angle and have proven to be incredibly creative. I feel lucky to have been in a situation where I could be helpful.''
Having the disabled engaged in the workplace was beneficial to all because it improved a person's health and offered a unique and creative viewpoint to employers, she said.
- Liam Macandrew