How to write a Sense Awards nomination that stands out

This November, the Sense Awards are back. Here’s our chief executive (and long-time Sense Awards judge) Richard with some tips on how to make your nomination go all the way.

Max Fisher, a white genderqueer person with green hair, holding their Sense Award.

Every year, I sit down with a panel of judges to choose the winners of the Sense Awards. It’s one of the highlights of my year.

This will be my 11th awards as a judge and it’s always a privilege to hear about the incredible things disabled people have achieved, as well as the amazing community of people around them.

But because of the number of incredible stories we have the honour of sifting through, it’s important to make your nomination stand out. Here’s some tips to make sure you give your nomination the best chance of making it through.

Explain the what and the why

Start with the basics: what has your nominee done, why have they done it and what impact has it had?

Maybe they’ve started a campaign that has led to real change in their local community, or they’ve supported a disabled person to achieve something they never thought they’d be able to do.

Adding lots of information, anecdotes and examples will bring your nomination to life and help the judging panel better understand why this person deserves to be recognised at the Sense Awards.

Tell us what’s happened as if we know nothing

Think of your nomination as an introduction to your nominee, written for someone who’s never met them before.

Remember that not all the judging panel may be familiar with their story, even if it relates to Sense services, or if your nominee has been supported by us before. It’s worth explaining as much context as you can.

Make sure you’re clear and write your nomination as though it’ll be read by someone without any knowledge of the situation. Tell us about your nominee’s circumstances and any adversity they’ve overcome.

Richard poses with some winners at the Sense Awards in 2018.

Get others to nominate too

You can absolutely nominate someone on your own, but if the person you’ve nominated has helped a group of people, why not ask them to nominate too, or provide quotes for your nomination?

When we receive multiple nominations or quotes of support, it really helps us understand the impact your nominee has had.

Pick the right category

We have 13 categories for our awards, ranging from Person of the Year, to Campaigner of the Year and Volunteer of the Year.

Pick the category that you think will best fit your nominee, but remember you can nominate in multiple categories if you like.

Find out more about the Sense Awards categories.

Make it snappy

Finally, the judges and I read through a lot of nominations. While it’s important to be thorough, it’s really helpful if you’re as concise as you can be.

One great way to keep your nomination to size is to set yourself a word limit and try to stick within that. We’d recommend no more than 300 words.

Remember to include your and your nominee’s contact details, so we can stay in touch.

Nominate someone amazing for a Sense Award

It’s the 20th year of the Sense Awards, where we celebrate the achievements of people with complex disabilities.