Awards

MBE 
Order of the British Empire (Civil): Member 2014

John Flanner was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2014 for his services to Diversity and Equality. (Solihull, West Midlands.)  He was presented with the MBE at Buckingham Palace by The Princess Royal on 13 February 2015.

 

 


Pacesetter Award 2014

In the Spring of 2013 John Flanner MBE was asked to be a role model for an event being rolled out by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs called "Raising Disability Awareness".  

John took part in a promotional DVD for the event in which he was able to share something of his story, and also stressed the importance of giving encouragement when managing a team or an individual.  

Later John was invited to compere the launch event in Manchester in 2014 when he was presented with the Pacesetter Award for inspiring people with disabilities.


 

Winning an Award at the National Civil Service Equality and Diversity Awards ceremony in 2006.  From left to right: BBC Reporter Rageh Omaar, John Flanner MBE, Sir Gus O’Donnell, and former HMRC Chairman, Paul Gray.

Winning an Award at the National Civil Service Equality and Diversity Awards ceremony in 2006.  From left to right: BBC Reporter Rageh Omaar, John Flanner MBE, Sir Gus O’Donnell, and former HMRC Chairman, Paul Gray.

John Flanner MBE receiving the Outstanding Achievement Award at the first National Civil Service Awards ceremony in 2006.  From left to right: Sir Gus O’Donnell and John Flanner MBE.

John Flanner MBE receiving the Outstanding Achievement Award at the first National Civil Service Awards ceremony in 2006.  From left to right: Sir Gus O’Donnell and John Flanner MBE.

 

Outstanding Achievement Award for services to Equality and Diversity

Received at the first ever National Civil Service Diversity Awards in 2006

The National Civil Service Diversity Awards recognise the outstanding achievements of ordinary civil servants who have made a major contribution to the development of greater diversity and equality in the Civil Service.

John was given the Outstanding Achievement Award after he single-handedly pioneered a series of transformational talks based on his life-story that he has delivered to thousands of people nationwide.

The judges were inspired by John’s ability and courage to overcome obstacles, learn to cope effectively with his disability, and be committed to his day job while undertaking a ‘one man’ mission to educate and engage people in diversity issues.

John firmly believes that you play the hand you have been dealt, and his honesty, determination, humour, and enthusiastic love of life has captivated and challenged audiences across the UK. 

John’s approach to being blind, and his unfailing ability to see every obstacle as an opportunity, can be summed up in this quotation from his book:

“During my early training one experienced tax officer said, ‘I don’t mean to be disrespectful but you are never going to be able to do this job without sight. The screens are too complicated.  I replied with a smile on my face, ‘The aim is to be able to do your job with my eyes closed!’”  

“A couple of months later I issued my first form to an employer without any assistance whatsoever.  I was smiling from ear to ear, especially when someone collected the form from the printer and said it was absolutely perfect. ‘I feel like I’ve scored the winning goal in an FA Cup Final’, I said.  With that my aforementioned disbelieving colleague spoke up, ‘You’ve done it then! You can now do my job with your eyes closed.” 

 John Flanner MBE, ‘Fear, Fun and Faith’