It was hard work to teach Sense Sign School but I enjoyed it!

Tyrese, a young man, is holding an award. He is celebrating with two arms up in the air, wearing glasses, a cap and a red tracksuit top. Behind him, there are football stadium seats. / --
Tyrese holds his Pride of Birmingham award

Our Sense Sign School hero Tyrese Dibba has won a Pride of Birmingham Award. How amazing is that?!

When we launched Sense Sign School, a series of free online lessons teaching British Sign Language (BSL), last May, we had no idea how crazy things would get. The programme helped 80,000 people learn sign language during lockdown.

And the key to it all? One inspiring 15-year-old called Tyrese Dibba (better known as Mr. Tyrese by his students!).

Tyrese was the star of the show. And now, the jokes and cheeky demeanour that inspired thousands to learn have won him the Stephen Sutton Inspiration Award at the 2021 Pride of Birmingham Awards.

The Pride of Birmingham Awards celebrate the city’s unsung heroes, including those who have made a positive impact during the pandemic, and Tyrese’s impact couldn’t be more positive.

It’s every football fan’s dream to meet their favourite team, and as part of the awards Tyrese got to do just that. Tyrese had an amazing time meeting Conor Coady, the Wolverhampton Football Team Captain, even teaching him a few signs.

We’ve heard from Tyrese, and he’s thrilled to have the award. He told us:

“Thank you. I’m happy I won. It was hard work to teach everyone sign but I enjoyed it! I loved meeting Conor Coady as part of the awards and loved showing him some signs, like how to spell his name, his sign name and his shirt number.”

Supported by Sense

Tyrese has been part of the Sense family for years. Since he was six months old, Sense has been supporting him to do fantastic things, like having lots of fun on a Sense Holiday and learning how to communicate using BSL, gesture and writing.

Like all of us at Sense, Tyrese’s mother, Vicky, is really proud of her son. Tyrese’s cheeky character certainly brought a smile to everyone’s face in a long lockdown, but what other effect does Vicky think Sense Sign School has had?

She explained, “Ty was really shocked and surprised about winning a Pride of Birmingham Award.

“As for me, I’m very proud of Tyrese; he made Sense Sign School his own, showing his pride in his language and culture.”

Don’t miss class

It’s not too late to learn BSL with Mr. Tyrese. Join today to find out just how amazing he is.