CONNOR Sparrowhawk's mother has become the official patron of Oxford's unique disability campaign group My Life My Choice.

Sara Ryan accepted the figurehead position at the invitation of the charity's trustees.

The role will involve formally helping to raise the group's profile and support its work – something she has already been doing informally for a many years.

Dr Ryan said she was 'absolutely chuffed to bits' to be asked, telling trustees: "We’ve been working together since about 2007, and when Connor died you all stepped up to be part of the [Justice for LB] campaign.

"My Life My Choice does great work around improving the lives of people with learning disabilities. You talk the talk and walk the walk, and I’d love to support you doing that. I'll do whatever you want."

Dr Ryan became a champion of disability rights after her 18-year-old son Connor, who had epilepsy, autism and a learning disability, drowned in a bath at Slade House in Headington in 2013.

Following her campaigns, a series of investigations concluded there had been failings in Connor's care and Slade House shut permanently.

My Life My Choice is run by a group of trustees who all have learning disabilities of some kind.

The group campaigns for better civil rights for those with disabilities and also organises a host of social events.

Announcing Dr Ryan's appointment, the trustees said they had wanted somebody as the charity figurehead who had shown 'outstanding dedication and commitment to improving the lives of people with learning disabilities', and said Dr Ryan had already proven her 'unflinching support 'for MLMC and its work.

It is hoped she will help expand the reach of campaign work and represent the charity at the highest level.