Sense Awards

The Sense Awards celebrates the achievements of deafblind / multi-sensory impaired people and those who support them.

Nominations for the 2014 Awards will open in the summer - Monday 4 August 2014 and close on Friday 3 October 2014.

Previously: Sense Awards 2013

International dancer, choreographer and Strictly Come Dancing star Karen Hardy, who is hearing impaired herself, presented last year's awards, at the Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury, London on 30 September 2013.

The winners

Young Deafblind Person of the Year - Leandro Ponte
Deafblind Person of the Year -  Arthur Ellis
Young Carer - Phoebe Perrow
Employee of the Year - Diane Cardwell
Team of the Year - Holidays and Events team
Volunteer of the Year - Jane Plant
Partnership / Local Community Award - Walsall Outdoor Pursuits
Innovation within Sense - Lorraine Jenkins
Retail Award - staff at Morrisons
Quality Award - Norbins House
Exceptional Contribution to Sense - Angela Sutton with Elliot

Catch up on the day's event including interviews with some of the winners

Shortlisted nominees

The Sense Awards received a record number of nominations from staff, Sense members, teachers, members of the public and deafblind people, showing just how much there is to celebrate this year! Thank you to everyone who contributed, made a nomination and helped to recognise some fantastic achievements.

Here is the full shortlist by category:

Young Deafblind Person of the Year
Deafblind Person of the Year
Young Carer
Employee of the Year
Team of the Year
Volunteer of the Year
Partnership / Local Community Award
Innovation within Sense
Retail Award
Quality Award
Exceptional Contribution to Sense

Young Deafblind Person of the Year

Leandro Ponte, for his amazing ability and willingness to learn new skills and develop.

A nominator said "He has an amazing ability to learn new things and new ways to communicate with people around him. Leandro has gone from strength to strength in his confidence and willingness to learn, and is now speeding ahead of staff."

Deafblind Person of the Year

Susan White - Although profoundly deaf and with vision in only one eye, she is a talented artist who can work with a range of media. Her abiding passion, however, is architecture.

"Susan's achievements in overcoming the barriers of her deafblindness…and the challenge of settling in to a much bigger environment to study alongside others, and her consistent determination and good humour deserve recognition."

Arthur Ellis (winner) – Arthur lost his sight through meningitis. An accomplished artist, Arthur had to develop his own, new methods of painting to continue his passion without sight.

"Arthur is an inspiration to disabled and non-disabled people everywhere. I can honestly say that he is both a real hero and a real human being."

Alison Jameson – Alison has always had a keen interest in children and in April she was fortunate to be offered a work placement at the children’s services in Market Deeping.

"Alison is an excellent role model, showing that she can help and do so much with children with her hearing and sight impairments and gain from it herself as well as helping children and families she comes into contact with."

Young Carer

Phoebe Perrow (winner), for providing support as a young carer.

"My girl Phoebe is a little love. I am deaf and blind and she looks after me and her sister Abi and her brother Frazer. When I take my ear aid out I don’t hear a sound with Phoebe around me I feel safe. She does everything for us; she is such a brave girl."

Employee of the Year

Diane Cardwell (winner), for the constant support she gives her deafblind people within community support services.

"She is a godsend to all the people she supports and nothing is too much trouble when it comes to deafblind people. Diane has been a pivotal figure within this transformation and it all came down to a very person-centred approach, commitment, drive and a want for the person to flourish which has now become so evidently clear."

Lynette Gawn – For her successful and innovative approach to working with medical and nursing staff to support deafblind people.

"Lynette's successful interactions have attracted much interest among the medical and nursing staff and we have had some very positive comments from intensive care unit staff to back up this nomination."

Beverly Samuda - Bev is a fantastic role model, with high standards of work, practice and values.

"She has a great relationship with the deafblind people she works with and she is so focused on them, everything she does from the moment she walks through the door is about the deafblind people and what it is she has to or can do for them that day."

Team of the Year

Holidays and Events Team (winner)– For amazing teamwork and dedication in providing, over the year, hundreds of opportunities for deafblind people, and their families, to have holidays, and to get involved with Sense.

"Fuelled almost entirely by Yorkshire Tea, they are incessantly cheerful, resilient, resourceful, and supportive to one another, as well as having a 100% can-do attitude that no obstacle is insurmountable, and that anyone can be supported."

"The team represented some of the best examples of the Sense ethos, supporting deafblind people and their families to be genuinely and truly involved in the holidays and events programme.

Britannia Road - For always providing high standards of personalised care even in extreme and challenging circumstances.

"The strength of each and every member of the team has exceeded my expectations in how they have coped, how they have supported one another to grow into the team they are today, how they motivate themselves and each other, and how they continually present new ideas."

Sense Ramsgate – Because they have shown extraordinary and continued dedication and support to both the service users and their own peers.

"Ramsgate had a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection and were used in a pilot for the new audit tool. CQC picked up on how good they were at delivering a person-centred approach and how all our service users were given choices in the way they live."

Volunteer of the Year

Robert Quayle, for consistent commitment and dedication to Bury Deaf Society for 28 years, as a volunteer, committee member, trustee and treasurer.

"Robert is a role model for the members to show what you can achieve and they respect him as they know he has walked in their shoes. I believe that Robert should win this award as he has proven himself dedicated to his role. I have seen him grow from a volunteer to a professional manager who is always willing to learn and train to improve his skills. Robert as a user himself understands the needs of the members and will always go the extra mile to help and support people."

Jane Plant (winner), for being a positive advocate and role model for many with deafblind children and not shying away from a challenge.

"Jane’s continued support to families living in North and Mid Wales. Her ability to be a positive ambassador for deafblindness, and her drive to make the Branches Big Bash a reality are why Jane deserves the recognition being Volunteer of the Year would bring."

Philippa and Victoria, for their dedication to volunteering and for thinking outside of the box and developing a platform for volunteers and staff to mix and develop their BSL skills.

"They have found the time to enthusiastically organise and attend BSL meet-ups. They are dedicated volunteers, who deserve recognition for going the extra mile and offering this valuable opportunity to other Sense volunteers and staff."

Partnership / Local Community Award

Walsall Outdoor Pursuits (winner)- For a continued and exemplary working relationship with Sense which has benefited many deafblind people.

"The willingness to learn more, the offer of additional support to cater for our complex needs and the promise to adapt their own centre if need be, were all offered. So, for the team at Walsall Outdoor Pursuits, for Geoff Moore, for Steve Penn, for Tom, Pete and Ben, plus the help of Philippa, Victoria and Maurice, I would like them to receive some kind of thank you for the great work that has been done helping so many."

St Leonard's Primary School, for the outstanding way they have worked to include deafblind children in all activities and achieve their full potential.

"I would like to nominate St Leonard’s Primary school for the outstanding way they have worked with Chloe and the family, including her in the school and ensuring the educational provision met her complex learning needs. This first year at school has been very positive, we all feel welcome and accepted and this has been the best start possible for Chloe’s school life. This is my way of saying a huge thank you to the staff, parents and children at St Leonard’s Primary."

Broadstairs Folk Festival – Since 2008 they have enabled deafblind people to be actively engaged in the community of the festival.

"The whole festival team, including staff and volunteers, have been consistently friendly and accommodating and have regularly gone the extra mile to make sure our holidaymakers can make the most of their time. They deserve this award for welcoming our holiday groups into a community where everywhere is there for the same reason - not as deafblind people but as people who enjoy music and dance."

Innovation within Sense

Lorraine Jenkins (winner), for the development of Sense's first 'people dashboard', which allows accurate people information to be compiled in one place and presented in a way that is easily understood.

"In creating and maintaining the dashboard Lorraine has had to exhibit many of the behaviours in our 'I' statements and her intervention has led to a greater awareness of what we need to work on in Sense to get the very best from our people."

Philippa and Victoria, for thinking outside of the box and developing a platform for volunteers and staff to mix and develop their BSL skills.

"They have found the time to enthusiastically organise and attend BSL meet-ups. They are dedicated volunteers, who deserve recognition for going the extra mile and offering this valuable opportunity to other Sense volunteers and staff."

Oliver Griffiths, for positively seeking a solution to an issue to help deafblind people access and get involved more in community activities.

"Oliver, who is an engineer by trade, said 'leave it to me', and went away and came back with a foot rest that he had designed and made for Daniel to use. The occupational therapist was very impressed. She thought it was the most innovative idea that she had ever seen for this problem and approved its use immediately. This has allowed Daniel to access all kinds of community activities he would not have been able to without it."

Retail Award

Knight Garden Centre, for their excellent customer service and community spirit.

"They know us as a deafblind couple and they were very helpful to guide us around if we cannot find where to buy specific plants etc. They are very friendly and caring staff."

Staff at Morrisons (winner), for exceptional customer service, going the extra mile and helping deafblind people to maintain their independence.

"Just a few weeks ago, Emma met me on her day off to go round the shop with me. I am sure she is an angel. Her colleagues are simply wonderful. All the staff that have helped me to date have simply helped me to maintain my independence. Checking sell-by dates for me, reading ingredients when necessary. They even involve fellow staff if we can't find something!"

Quality Award

Gough Road, for their introduction of a 'WOW' board for staff and service users to keep them focused on living the ‘I’ statements.

"We introduced our 'WOW' board and this was to emphasise 'i will find things to celebrate'. It consists of a board on the wall in the hallway of the home and it is an active board in the sense that it is added to at anytime, no matter what. It is our charter."

Newington Road, for consistently working with a positive attitude and demonstrating great team spirit.

"They have been a great support both physically and emotionally to both of us and to David. The team have also been exceptional in working with David since his discharge from hospital. The team continued to support selflessly and in a person-centred manner ensuring that individual and daily support continues."

Norbins (winner), for exceptional practice of the ‘I’ statements and their individual approach to support and care.

"The manager demonstrated through their completion of the audit tool the manner in which the service puts into practice the philosophy of the ‘I’ statements. The service was particularly commended for encouraging individuals to participate and contribute and an excellent example of this was in supporting one person to vote at recent election."

Exceptional Contribution to Sense

Lynda Jones, for her considerable and continued combination of contributions to Sense, to deafblind people and to the range of other organisations.

"...It is a privilege to know Lynda. Lynda has taught me more about deafblindness than anyone else, in a very sensitive, accessible way. Also, Lynda regularly inspires other people. It is the combination of her contributions to me personally, to deafblind people and to the range of organisations that makes Lynda's contribution exceptional."

Angela Sutton with Elliot (winner), for their incredible and brave contribution to Sense and invaluable assistance in helping make Sense a household name across the nation.

"Angela has certainly gone above and beyond what is expected of her, tirelessly time and time again contributing to development of fundraising material and allowing Elliot’s story to help build awareness and recognition of Sense in the mass market. In the last 17 months alone though, hers and Elliot's story through our DRTV / outdoor campaign and subsequent telephone calling has raised over £1,191,560 for Sense. An attestment to how incredible Angela’s and Elliot’s contribution has been."

Debbie Wilford, for her over 20 year commitment to making the world a better place for deafblind people.

"Debbie knows instinctively of the challenges deafblind people face, and shares her enthusiasm and passion for arts, creativity and wellbeing with all she meets. Debbie strives every day, in every kind of way, to make the world a better place for deafblind people. She is treasured by staff at Bourne Resource Centre, families and all who have had the opportunity to work with her."

First published: Monday 14 May 2012
Updated: Tuesday 10 June 2014