Awards

Sense Awards 2013 winners

01 October 2013

Leandro Ponte accepting his awardYoung Deafblind Person of the Year - Leandro Ponte

Leandro Ponte, 18, from Uxbridge has won a national award from deafblind charity Sense.

Leandro, a student at Moorcroft School part of the Eden Academy, was yesterday (30 September) named “Young Deafblind Person of the Year” for the challenges he has overcome and his excellent work at school with his intervenor.

Yesterday Leandro found out he’d won the award at a special ceremony in central London hosted by professional ballroom dancer, coach and star of “Strictly Come Dancing” Karen Hardy.

Diane Baker, Leandro’s intervenor, who nominated him for the award said: “I have been in total awe and admiration for Leandro as I’ve watched his remarkable journey. He has an amazing ability to learn new things and new ways to communicate with people around him. I’m delighted that he has won the award and it is well deserved.”

Sense Chief Executive Gill Morbey said: "Deafblind people and their carers often face major challenges in life and these awards reflect some of the fantastic achievements they have accomplished. I have been hugely impressed by the dedication, determination and good work of all the nominees. Leandro is a worthy winner and I would like to congratulate him on his award."

Arthur Ellis accepts his awardDeafblind Person of the Year - Arthur Ellis

Arthur Ellis, 66, from Tunbridge Wells has won a national award from deafblind charity Sense.

Arthur was yesterday (30th September) named “Deafblind Person of the Year” for his enthusiasm and dedication to practising his artwork despite his sight loss. Arthur lost all of his sight and most of his hearing seven years ago as a result of meningitis. He nearly lost his life and spent nine months in hospital. Before his illness Arthur loved to paint. Despite his blindness he returned to this love and continues to produce striking abstract drawings and paintings.

Arthur Ellis said: "I am very happy to have won this award. Sense have always been very supportive of my artwork and provide me with a platform at meetings to discuss issues concerning deafblind people."

Arthur has been working with Sense to promote advice on helping an older relative or friend who can’t see and hear too well in the “Enjoy Life!” booklet, which has the support of television and radio personality Nicholas Parsons. Currently there are 220,000 older people in the UK with combined sight and hearing loss, many of whom live at home. This number is predicted to double over the next 20 years, rising to 418,000 over the age of 70 by 2030.

Colin Anderson, from Sense who nominated Arthur for the award, said: “Arthur’s main achievement has been to remain positive about his life despite what has happened to him. He is still curious, creative, interested in others and wants to reach out and experience new things. I’m delighted that he has won this award and grateful for his support in helping Sense raise awareness of deafblindness amongst older people.”

Sense Chief Executive Gill Morbey said: "Deafblind people and their carers often face major challenges in life and these awards reflect some of the fantastic achievements they have accomplished. I have been hugely impressed by the dedication, determination and good work of all the nominees. Arthur is a worthy winner and I would like to congratulate him on his award."

Phoebe Perrow accepts her awardYoung Carer - Phoebe Perrow

Phoebe Perrow, 11, from Louth has won a national award by deafblind charity Sense.

Phoebe, a pupil at Birkbeck College, was yesterday (30th September) named "Young Carer of the year" for supporting her Mum, Angela, who is deafblind. Phoebe is only 11 but shows incredible maturity for her age, helping her Mum care for her brother and sister and helping out around the house.

Often when people come across Angela they don't realise that she can't hear and Phoebe helps her to communicate. She also helps her Mum with tasks like going shopping or anywhere where she might need Phoebe to repeat what has been said in a way she can understand.

Phoebe found out she had won yesterday at an awards ceremony in London hosted by professional ballroom dancer, coach and star of "Strictly Come Dancing" Karen Hardy.

Angela, who nominated her for the award, said: "I'm really proud of Phoebe and delighted that she has won this award. Phoebe helps me communicate and to look after her brother and sister and without her I would be lost. She definitely deserves this award."

Phoebe said: "I'm really happy that I've won Sense's Young Carer award and I enjoyed the award ceremony and meeting Karen Hardy. It's really lovely that my Mum nominated me for the award and I'm always happy to help her."

Sense Chief Executive Gill Morbey said: "Deafblind people and their carers often face major challenges in life and these awards reflect some of the fantastic achievements they have accomplished. I have been hugely impressed by the dedication, determination and good work of all the nominees. Phoebe is a worthy winner and I would like to congratulate her on her award."

Diane Cardwell accepts her awardEmployee of the Year - Diane Cardwell and Innovation within Sense - Lorraine Jenkins

Diane Cardwell (left, centre) and Lorraine Jenkins (below, right) both from Birmingham have won national awards from deafblind charity Sense.

Diane was named "Employee of the year" and Lorraine won the "Innovation" award at a special ceremony in London on 30 September hosted by professional ballroom dancer, coach and star of "Strictly Come Dancing" Karen Hardy.

Diane Cardwell (44) from Northfield, who works for Sense's Community Support Services in Birmingham, won for her constant work in supporting people of all ages, who are both deaf and blind with additional disabilities, and for helping them to live as independently as possible.

At the awards ceremony, Diane said: "Winning the 'Employee of the year' award for the job that I love has come as a huge surprise. I have had the pleasure of supporting deafblind people at Sense for the past 17 years and I feel truly honoured that my efforts have been recognised."

Lorraine Jenkins receiving her awardLorraine (48), from Selly Oak, won the "Innovation award" for the development of Sense's first 'people dashboard', which allows accurate information about staff to be compiled in one place and presented in a way that is easily understood. It's a vital tool for the charity to monitor engagement and motivation for its 2,000 employees, most of whom work in services directly with deafblind people.

On winning her award, Lorraine said: "I feel very privileged to be part of Sense and to win this award is just amazing. It represents great teamwork from right across the organisation to get the best result and I am so proud to think that what I do is making a difference."

Sense Chief Executive, Gill Morbey, said: "Deafblind people and their carers often face major challenges in life and these awards reflect some of the fantastic achievements they have accomplished. I have been hugely impressed by the dedication, determination and good work of all the nominees. Lorraine Jenkins and Diane Cardwell are both worthy winners and I would like to congratulate them on their award."

Holidays and Events Team receive their awardTeam of the Year - Holidays and Events team

A team that provides holidays and events for deafblind people and their families has won a national award by deafblind charity Sense.

The Sense Holidays and Events team was named "Team of the year" at a special ceremony in London on 30 September hosted by professional ballroom dancer, coach and star of "Strictly Come Dancing" Karen Hardy.

The team won for their remarkable teamwork and dedication in providing hundreds of opportunities for children and adults who are both deaf and blind and their families to have holidays and to get involved in engaging events. The team of eight organise free getaways and family weekends across the country – from camping to cosy cottages, and canal boats to city breaks.

Hannah Tompkins, who heads the team, said: "We are delighted to have won the 'Team of the year' award. Every single member of the team works incredibly hard and regularly goes above and beyond the call of duty. They are a wonderful group of people to work with, and so focused on ensuring that we can offer the best possible holidays and events to deafblind people and their families."

Sense Chief Executive, Gill Morbey, said: "Deafblind people and those who support them often face major challenges in life and these awards reflect some of the fantastic achievements they have accomplished. I have been hugely impressed by the dedication, determination and good work of all the nominees. The Holidays and Events team are worthy winners and I would like to congratulate them on their award."

Jane Plant receiving her awardVolunteer of the Year - Jane Plant

Jane Plant from Wrexham, has won a national award by deafblind charity Sense. Jane was named "Volunteer of the year" at a special ceremony in London on 30 September hosted by professional ballroom dancer, coach and star of "Strictly Come Dancing" Karen Hardy.

Jane has been volunteering for eight years at Sense's North and Mid Wales branch in Wrexham, which offers a support network for deafblind children and adults and their families.

Jane (45), who is a mother of four, has just graduated with a degree in Deaf studies from Bangor University in North Wales. Her 12-year-old son Gethin is deafblind and she understands how vital a support network can be to parents and siblings of deafblind children.

On winning her award Jane said: "I feel really honoured and surprised to have won this award. Life is different with a deafblind child – not worse, and I know firsthand that sharing experiences with others who go through similar journeys can make a huge difference. That's why I've never considered what I do at the branch as hard work, I'm just pleased that I am able to give something back to a charity that gives so much."

Sense Chief Executive, Gill Morbey, said: "Deafblind people and their carers often face major challenges in life and these awards reflect some of the fantastic achievements they have accomplished. I have been hugely impressed by the dedication, determination and good work of all the nominees. Jane Plant is a worthy winner and I would like to congratulate her on her award."

Walsall Outdoor Pursuits receive their awardPartnership / Local Community Award - Walsall Outdoor Pursuits

Walsall Outdoor Pursuits Centre has waltzed off with a national award from deafblind charity Sense.

The centre, based at Aldridge Airport, was nominated for its work in keeping deafblind adults physically active and healthy.

It scooped the "Local Partnership" award for providing instructors, equipment and a location to run weekly sailing sessions for deafblind adults as well as activities at the centre.

The accolade was presented last night in a ceremony hosted by professional ballroom dancer, coach and star of "Strictly Come Dancing" Karen Hardy.

The activities on offer include both indoor and outdoor climbing and wheelchair abseiling sessions, as well as a zip wire and archery.

The centre has been running the sessions for four years and Sense now has more than 70 deafblind adults engaging in regular sailing sessions and just under 80 people who spend time at the activity centre.

The service is delivered through Walsall Council's sport and leisure development team.

Jeff Moore, senior outdoor pursuits officer, attended last night's ceremony.

He said: "We were thrilled when we heard the announcement that we'd won. We all love what we do and the difference we can help make to people's lives and we haven't stopped smiling since we won!"

Councillor Anthony Harris, portfolio holder for leisure and culture with Walsall Council Coalition, said: Many congratulations to all the staff and volunteers at the centre whose combined efforts have helped it to win this fantastic award.

"Not only have they showcased the brilliant work that goes on in Walsall, they have also raised a national awareness of the sort of opportunities that exist for deafblind adults to get the most out of life."

Jon Fearn, activities instructor and co-ordinator for Sense in the West Midlands, said: "The work of the activity centre has been incredibly good for deafblind people in our region and so many people have hugely benefitted from taking parts in these sessions. From our very first meeting four years ago, I have been bowled over by the centre's enthusiasm for working with people with disabilities, their willingness to help and engage with ourselves at Sense."

Walsall Outdoor Pursuits is a recognised RYA Sailability site, providing opportunities for local people with a wide and diverse range of disabilities to learn to sail and sail regularly as part of the national Sailability programme run by British sailing's national governing body.

Tom Davenport, RYA Sailability Regional Organiser for the West Midlands, said: "This is a well-deserved award. The ethos of Sailability is all about what people can do, not what they can't, and this award reflects Walsall Outdoor Pursuits' success in continually achieving this."

As a recognised RYA Training Centre, Walsall Outdoor Pursuits conforms to the highest standards of quality and safety.

Angela Sutton receives her awardExceptional Contribution to Sense - Angela Sutton with Elliot

A Stockport woman has won a national award from deafblind charity Sense.

Angela Sutton yesterday (30 September) won the "Exceptional Contribution" category for her help in attracting fundraising support for Sense, which supports and provides services for deafblind children and adults. She won the award at a ceremony in London hosted by professional ballroom dancer, coach and star of "Strictly Come Dancing" Karen Hardy.

Angela's son, Elliott, has featured in a number of fundraising campaigns, which has helped to raise significant sums of money for Sense.

Angela said: "I am thrilled to win this award. The nomination came out of the blue and I'm delighted that its campaigns featuring Elliot have been so successful. I hope my help with the campaigns goes some way towards repaying Sense for their invaluable support since Elliot was born."

Sense Chief Executive Gill Morbey said: "Deafblind people and their carers often face major challenges in life and these awards reflect some of the fantastic achievements they have accomplished. I have been hugely impressed by the dedication, determination and good work of all the nominees. Angela is a worthy winner and I would like to congratulate her on her award."