About the Awards
Include Me TOO hosted the charity’s first ever National Community Inspiration Awards – a prestigious blue tie event, which celebrated and recognised the inspirational disabled children, young people and their families from grass root communities.
‘Blue Tie’ for this special occasion was to show support for Disabled Children’s Rights
The National Community Inspiration Awards for disabled children and families event took place at Hilton Birmingham Metropole on Saturday 28th March 2015.
Role models, community champions, the personal journeys and achievements were honoured at the award ceremony. Disabled children, young people and their families were honoured for their strength, courage, compassion, determination, and achievements.
The issue of disability needs to be tackled through increased awareness, understanding, inclusion, acceptance and community support. Thanks to our sponsors they helped support us to celebrate the inspiring journeys and achievement at our first Include Me TOO National Community Inspiration Awards.
We are delighted to announce our winners.
A disabled child or young person who has shown huge courage in their circumstances who has inspired others through their bravery and resilience.
Thomas is 8 years old and has had many epileptic seizures over the past year and has spent countless days in hospital. He has a rare brain disorder called Frontal bilateral sub ependymal nodular heterotopia, severe uncontrolled epilepsy, lupus, todds paralysis, low muscle tone, global development delay
His mother says,
‘Thomas is the bravest person I know. He has had 96 seizures this year and spent countless days in hospital. He takes a mass of medicines every day without ever complaining. He always has a smile on his face and despite everything, he always tries his hardest to succeed. He has a contagious laugh and continues to amaze me every single day. He is the most loving, caring, thoughtful boy I know and nothing ever phases him. He is best friends with his sister, who adores him and is the best son anyone could wish for. He tells jokes to people repeatedly because he doesn’t remember that hes told you three million times already and he laughs as though its the first time, every time. He brightens every room he enters and I am so so proud of him’.
A disabled child or young person who wishes to nominate their best friend – understanding each other regardless of differences.
Naomi has Aspergers and has been involved in local and national projects to ensure the voices of Children with special educational needs and disabilities are heard and key decision makers are influenced by their voices.
She is a very supportive member of the POWAR group and will always go out of her way to help others to ensure they feel included and involved. She has made friends through the through the group and has encouraged friends from other social circles to come and get involved.
She is a very kind and caring young person and is always keen to get involved. She makes friends easily with her natural friendly personality.
She is an inspirational young person, who has overcome her own barriers to ensure she can help others to engage not only in POWAR but also socially.
A disabled child or young person who has shown drive and motivation to overcome barriers in order to participate in sport, achieving their personal goals and should be celebrated for this achievement.
Aamir is 11 years old and was diagnosed with Bilecteral hearing loss at the age of 3yrs old. Aamir wears hearing aids and lip reads really well .
He recently won a sports award in the north west fusion award in Blackburn. He has become the first Deaf student in kickboxing and achieved a black belt at the Morrisons kickboxing academy.
He is a great inspiration for his peers as he has been involved in youtube videos for the National Deaf Children Society and has been on the Buzz website.
Aamir loves his sport and is very proud and positive of being a young deaf person and advocates being deaf should not stop anyone from achieving their goals
A disabled child or young person who has shown drive and motivation to overcome barriers in order to achieve their personal goals either the following: Performing arts inc Music, Dance, Drama and Art i.e Painting, Drawing, Sculpting … and should be celebrated for this achievement.
Diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome at just 6 years old , she attended several schools until she was more content, one school made her wear a dance hat saying ”I will be polite to everyone I meet ” written on it for a whole school day , her confidence was shattered.
Mom has told us:
‘ At 7 years old she watched a panto at Christmas and asked if she could go on stage one day, I thought this would be almost impossible due to her needs, but I enrolled her in a drama course . The first day when I picked her up from class the teacher came out and asked to talk to me , I was naturally dreading what I would hear .
”Did you know Honey can sing ? ” I was asked , well no , I didn’t ? She hardly spoke at home when tired and shutting down after a day of trying to ”fit in” .
The first time I saw Homey on stage it was like looking at a different child, so happy so confident , so free.
Honey is 12 years old and since she was 7 Honey has been in 13 musical productions, sung at the O2 arena, had 3 TV appearances and even scored the lead role in a film ”A Fathers Gift”. She is a child Asperger female role model in the ”AspienGirl” book series and talks about her acting to encourage others to never be frightened to live your dreams .
A disabled child or young person who has shown determination and overcome barriers to attain their Education Achievement and should be celebrated for this achievement.
Fadzie, a bubbly teenager aged 13 years old who excels in classes at her school in Plymouth.
She was diagnosed with Juvenile Onset Glaucoma in May 2011, meaning she has no sight in her right eye and very limited tunnel vision in her left eye.
She has a particular flair for all things mathematical and scientific, winning a maths award in Year 8. Science is her favourite subject and she hopes to become an ophthalmologist, she says is “quite ironic” given her sight loss..
Her can-do attitude has seen become a role model for the Vision Impairment Teachers delivering Plymouth City Council’s Think Right, Feel Good course. The course helps vision impaired youngsters from Year 5 through to secondary school. The course teacher has said ‘ When other VI children see Fadzie using technology to help her, they want to use it too, where before they’d shun it because they just wanted to be like everyone else.’
Indeed, Fadzie is so popular that a new word has been introduced at her school – “fadziefying”. For example, when the classroom assistant adapts Fadzie’s school books so she can read them, this is known as “fadziefying”. The new word has caught on so much that it has even appeared in the school newspaper!
A young person whose achievements and actions have motivated others and is a positive role model others.
Menunah at 24 years old, continues to overcome daily challenges as a young deaf woman and is recognised in her local community as a wonderful deaf role model.
She has studied BA in graphic design at Huddersfield university and now is completing her MA at the same university as well as running her small photography business which is doing great. She deals with hearing people everyday and she is very confident and advocates that with the right support a deaf person can do anything a hearing person can do.
It is not always easy as she has osteoporosis and can have very bad days when she is unable to get out of bed let alone go to University. She is determined and works hard and will achieve her goals.
Mother of a disabled child who is inspiring and a great role model and champion.
Florence is an inspiration to her community. She has challenged the stigma associated with autism and ’hidden’ disabilities in the African community, by being a beacon of hope, and attending events and sharing her personal experiences of be a parent of a disabled child publicly.
She is determined to challenge the misconceptions that disability is a curse or disability is due to witchcraft etc.
Florence ensures she is visible within the community and helps so many families supporting them to access support. She also volunteers and works as a professional carer whilst caring for her 5 year old son with additional needs.
Grandparents or Grandparent of a disabled grandchild who has been amazing, supportive and has gone that extra mile.
Tersem Kaur Sangh
Her grand daughter said
‘I would like to nominate my Nani, Tersem Kaur Sangha. She has been helping my mum to look after me for over 21 years. My Nani is always there for me and helps me with everything when my mum is not available. She is always reassuring my mum that I will get better and gets my mum to have a rest during the day when my mum has been up with me during the night when I am poorly. My Nani also takes me to the shops and the Gurdwara with her when I am well. My Nani put her life on hold to support my mum in looking after me. No matter what day it is or the weather she comes straightaway when she finds out that I am poorly. She has been strength to me and to my family. She never complains and even when she herself is not feeling well she still comes over to our house to help my mum or be with me if my mum has to go to work. Without my Nani’s help my mum would not have been able to work. My Nani is the best Nani in the world and I love her so much. There are no words to describe what my Nani means to me how much I love her and what difference she has made to us all’.
Father of a disabled child who is inspiring and a great role model and champion.
At the age of two, Sunny’s son Gaurav was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer with the threat of him developing an aggressive form of leukaemia if he did not receive a stem cell transplant. Only 4% of the stem cell/bone marrow register were of South Asian origin, which was the donor group needed for Gaurav.
His parents launched a remarkable campaign to raise awareness of the shortage of Asian donors and to encourage more to join the register. The scale of the campaign was on a scale never seen before. Working with existing charities.
Such was his powerful yet humble leadership he touched the hearts of minds of people across the country and many got involved to hold donor camps in the community including as far as Canada. As a result the percentage of Asian donors soared.
Relentless in his mission to raise the profile on this issue and he appeared on many television, radio and newspaper interviews. During all of this, he continued to play his full part in his family and continued to run his family business.
During and after finding a donor for his son, he has remained extremely active in the community increasing the number of donors on the register to support the other families. He has consistently and constantly inspired others to give of themselves for the betterment of others.
Community organisation/group providing support to local Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic disabled children, young people and their families.
Formed in May 2012, the aim of the non for profit organisation was to meet the needs of the local community, supporting families with no experience of Autism Spectrum Disorder and particularly from Black and ethnic minority communities.
The founder of A2nd Voice had first hand experience of the challenges families face being being a parent of her autistic son. This group runs workshops that providing coping solutions and advise for day to day living which are hosted and facilitated by specialists and those with ASD. The challenges that many parents face is that a child is given the diagnosis, but support for home life is minimal of information, resources and representation in helping the ASD individual and family. The group focuses on the real challenges regarding A and Puberty, Relationships, Social Safety Awareness (Peer pressure, Abuse, Bullying). Also supporting Yoga for Autism, and Transition into adulthood, faith groups recognising the challenges that those face, Autism in the BAME Community, Sibling Groups and Family Support. A2nd Voice believes by working together we can bridge the gap to meeting the needs of the silent voices and those who have been lost in the system.
Brother or sister of a disabled sibling who is aged 5 – 19 who is a inspiration and a champion for their disabled sibling.
This young man’s mother has told us:
‘ My 14 year old son who Milan is amazing he has been our rock, and right from an early age he has had to grown up faster than his time after my divorce. He helps and supports me in my caring role for his sister who is Epileptic and has Asperger’s. When his sister has seizures he helps to make her safe, call for an ambulance and generally put up with her challenging needs that are all too demanding at times. He rarely complains is loving and very protective over her.
He finds very little time to himself and my time can also be limited to him due to caring for his sister who loves her brother dearly.
He volunteer and helps out at a local youth centre which has disabled children like his sister attending and I am so proud of him.’
A Professional who has been recognised for the support and compassion they have demonstrated providing support to disabled children, young people and their families.
A foster carer for 17 and a half years, she has fostered 49 children including babies with complex needs. The majority has been babies and young children with complex health needs issues.
She fostered a severely disabled baby who not expected to survive. Both her and her husband worked arduously to promote the wellbeing and development of the baby ensuring that all the medical appointments; for example, physiotherapy, occupational therapy etc were maintained.
‘ The baby gave us so much pleasure as she grew stronger and started to show signs of recognising us and responding’. she shared with professional
She had the baby for 14 months prior to the child being placed with a prospective adoptive family. She still maintains contact with some of children she has fostered including the baby that was adopted. Soon after the adopted child left the foster care placement, Yvette fostered a Down’s Syndrome baby who is currently in her care.
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