Cornwall People First Above and Beyond Awards 2015
Thanks to The Elmgrant Trust, we were delighted to be able to run our Above and Beyond Awards again this year for the third year running. We hope that the continued impact of the awards will promote good citizenship for everyone.
People with learning disabilities first came up with the idea for the ‘Above and Beyond Awards’ at our 2012 self-advocacy conference. They thought that people should be recognised and thanked for being helpful and making such an important difference to the lives of people with learning disabilities. Cornwall People First feel that these awards are a way of encouraging best practice, good citizenship and help people with learning disabilities build positive relationships with their communities. The awards are a celebration of all the good things people can do and thank individuals and businesses for going above and beyond their roles.
The 2015 Above and Beyond Awards were presented at our Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 29th September at Truro City Hall. Cornwall People First trustees presented the awards in a room filled with self-advocates, friends, professionals. Congratulations and a big thank you to the winners:
The Gold Winner of the Business Category is Plymouth Argyle for supporting a self-advocate to become an accredited football coach. He thought it would be impossible because of cost and his learning disability, but the football club with the special help of Graham Eyres and Ashley Harris, are helping his dream come true. Unfortunately, Argyle were unable to attend the ceremony, but we went up to their training ground one evening to surprise Robert’s coaches and team-mates.
Graham Eyres, Disability Officer at Argyle Community Trust and his ‘Ability Counts’ team were delighted with the award. He said “I am really happy with the award, although I am not sure I have done anything special. Bringing out the best in people with disabilities is what we do here, and it is a pleasure supporting Robert to get into coaching. He is always enthusiastic and reliable and I really hope he will go far.” Robert, who has a learning disability and Epilepsy, is currently the only one of the men’s ‘Ability Counts’ team training to be a licensed football coach with financial and learning-based support from FA Devon and Argyle Community Trust.
The Silver, Highly Commended Winner of the Business Category is The Exchange in Penzance. The Exchange were nominated for going above and beyond their role in exhibiting 80 artworks from people with learning disabilities all over Cornwall for our Outside In competition. The staff at The Exchange were enormously helpful, kind and supportive. Their professional care and attention to detail was crucial in presenting an exhibition where people were recognised and appreciated for their artwork first and foremost.
The Gold Winner of the Individual Category is Sharon Gilbert. Sharon won the award for consistently going the extra mile outside of her job role, making an important difference to the lives of people with a learning disability. For example, she helped a couple that needed to access personal on-line financial information. This wasn’t part of Sharon’s job, but she took them to the library and showed them how to get the information they needed on the computer.
The Silver, Highly Commended Winner of the individual category is Julia Paynter, who works at Newquay Airport. Julia made all the arrangements for a young lady with a learning disability to go airside to sit on the plane and talk to the staff, so that she and her supporters could work out what would be involved in taking her first flight abroad. This was very important in giving our self-advocate the confidence to take this first step towards doing something she hadn’t done before. Unfortunately Julia was unable to attend the ceremony, so the young lady and Carol George from Mencap accepted the award on her behalf.
All those nominated for the Above and Beyond Awards 2015 are special for helping people with learning disabilities in such a way that makes a real difference to their lives. All nominees were recognised and celebrated at our ceremony and presented with certificates and presents. We’d like to thank these nominees from the bottom of our hearts: Gavin Pedley, Magi Omla-Coad, Sue Henthorne, Sue Williams, Colette Dodd, Christi Green, Caroline Wickett, Jeanette Sturman, Liz Sheridan, Morag Stolton and Ruth, Jane Barclay, Trethorne Leisure Park, Mannas Diner and Penzance leisure Centre.
Thank you everyone!