A DISABLED campaigner is setting up a new charity to help young people with complex health needs.

Lucy Watts MBE, 24, is setting up Young Adult Complex Condition Alliance (Yacca), dedicated to helping young adults aged 14 to 35.

Miss Watts, of Swans Green Close, Benfleet, suffers from a neuro-muscular disease and wants to use her experiences to improve the information available to others.

She is setting up a website and a support service with a focus on education and training opportunities.

Miss Watts is battling a range of severe health problems, including muscle weakness around her lungs, kidney and stomach problems, a dysfunctional nervous system, osteoporosis, and a progressive muscle disease, and she has to be fed through her heart.

“I need 24 hour care to be able to survive,” she said.

“I had to stop my A-levels in 2011 when I became too poorly.

“I was too ill to get up, I was just bedbound all time, which was very frustrating.”

In 2013, Miss Watts got a new wheelchair that enabled her to sit up, and this gave her new opportunities to put her many talents to good use.

Later that year, she gave a speech to politicians in the House of Commons about the transition from child to adult services.

“It was daunting as I’ve always been very shy and had never given a speech before,” she recalled.

“But when I was given a round of applause, I thought ‘I’m finally doing something I’m good at, that I can focus my energy on’.”

Since then, Miss Watts has dedicated her time to improving the lives of disabled people by working with twenty different charities and organisations as an ambassador, trustee and member.

Her efforts were recognized in 2015 when she was invited to Buckingham Palace and became an MBE.

Miss Watts claims there is no overarching body to help disabled young adults to speak up, and wants to provide this platform through her new charity.

“There is currently no voice in society to fight for what we need,” she explained.

“I’m a big believer that if you want something doing, you have to do it yourself.”

Miss Watts credits her assistance dog, Molly, a five-year-old cocker spaniel, with giving her the confidence that has enabled her to thrive in her charity work.

She said: “She’s the light of my life, I owe her so much.

“Molly does all the physical tasks, plus medical alerts that have saved my life on more than a few occasions.

“She loves all my charity events and meetings and, unlike me, she likes hospitals too. She’s my life-saving, life-changing dog.”

Miss Watts also wants to use her experiences and achievements as an example to others.

Despite her health difficulties Miss Watts was still able to get ten GCSEs and wants to give others hope.