A BOLTON man who helped set up a charity to support children who have polio has been honoured by the Prime Minister.

Mayoor Patel and his older brother Arun Patel have been given a Point of Light award to recognise their work with the Polio Children charity.

The pair founded the charity, along with their father Dr Shirish Patel, who lives in America, in 2003 after visiting a school for children affected by polio in India.

Arun, who lives in Ilford, North East London, was diagnosed with polio as a child, and credits the importance his father placed on education for his success and ability to live a full life despite having the condition.

The brothers, who emigrated from Uganda to Britain in 1972, set up the charity because they wanted to give other children suffering from polio the same chance to complete their education.

They were also shocked that polio, which can cause muscle weakness, shrinking of the muscles and deformities, still exists in the modern world.

Since its inception, the charity has raised more than £1.2m and helped to change the lives of about 1,000 children.

Mayoor Patel, of Now Hall Lane, Heaton, said he was shocked to learn of his award.

The 56-year-old said: "I was very surprised, and it is a great honour to be recognised. It is an honour to work with a great team at the charity and to have the support of our sponsors and donors.

"There is lots more work to do. We want to help children growing up with polio to get a full education and bring them into mainstream society."

Since it was formed, the charity has funded a university education for over 220 children, and continues to work across the world, helping children in in Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Tanzania, and starting an outreach programs in Nepal, Ukraine and Kenya.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Arun and Mayoor Patel have seen first-hand the huge impact polio has on a child’s life and they have dedicated their lives to helping to overcome the difficulties they face.

"By making sure children with polio have the same chance of finishing their education as other children, and helping them to gain vocational skills, they make a huge difference in their lives.

"Over 1,000 children have received support and education through Polio Children, and I am delighted to recognise Arun and Mayoor as Points of Light for all that they have achieved.”

The Point of Light award honours examples of volunteering across the country.