Over 120 people with a disability celebrated International Day for the Disabled (annual date used for raising awareness, campaigning and celebrating the needs, causes and achievements of disabled people) when The Isle of Wight College hosted a Disability Awards Day jointly sponsored by Medina Housing Association and Southern Housing Group.

Originally scheduled for 3 December but postponed because of the snow, The Island disabled community had been watching to see whether it would actually ‘happen’ as their experience had been that postponed often meant ‘cancelled’.

Seventeen Level 3 Travel & Tourism students undertook the event management, planning, and exhibitor liaison as part of their college coursework.

Resident involvement teams from Medina and Southern housing arranged transport in terms of taxis etc. to drop off and collect people to enable them to attend. Tea and coffee was donated by Phil’s Diner, Newport and lunch was provided by Pan Can team from the Isobel Centre, a local community social enterprise.

Prior to the presentations the guests were entertained by a demonstration by Canine Partners of a working dog display to emphasise all the tasks a well trained dog can do to help a person with a disability.

Exhibitors including Southern Housing Group, Medina Housing Association, RNID, Island Mobility, Shaw Trust, Diversities, Carer’s Rights, and Wight Access Group were available to give information and advice about their services.

Residents from both housing associations were asked to nominate people with a disability for the various award categories. Graham Burnett (Southern Housing Group), Martyn Pearl (Medina Housing) and Rachel Jagger-Thomas (IW College) judged the nominations and presented the prizes. The winners were presented with a glass statue made by Isle of Wight Glass and sponsored by both housing associations. The runners-up were presented with a certificate.

Positive Contribution to Your Community

WINNER: Pan Wardens and Junior Wardens

Numerous nominations were received for their work with the Pan local community and disabled residents.

Highly Commended: The Hot Green Bus Company

Commended: Jodie Boddy, Kate knox, John Bonham and Shianne Hodges

Individual Achievement Award

WINNERS: James Black and Edward Gentry

James has faced numerous challenges and has battled and overcome life-threatening conditions. Despite all this he has amazed those who know him with his demeanour and personality. Ed has a very rare form of epilepsy but he does not let this to hold him back

Independence Award

WINNER: Aaron Danvers-Jukes

Despite being registered as blind Aaron received numerous nominations telling of his incredible independence.

Highly Commended: Catherine Coeshott, Bruce Ferguson, John Case and Darren Peacey

Resident-led Community Forum/Social Group Award

WINNERS: The Monday Club and The Isobel Centre

The Monday Club has influenced the services provided to disabled residents in their community. The Isobel Centre, Newport, is not just a local ‘hub’ for members of the pan community but actively supports and promotes community needs for all residents.

Special Award ‘Make a Difference Award’

WINNER: John Burgess

John was nominated for the difference has made to his own life, and that of those around him.

Highly Commended: Lisa Carter, Paul Bowdery and Jade Hornbuckle.

Learning AwDisbaility ard

WINNER: Querino Bogoni

Querino has achieved his Level 1 qualification and all who know him are proud of his achievement.

Highly Commended: Matthew Cleave

Rachel Jagger-Thomas, Equality and Diversity Manager at The Isle of Wight College said “We had a fantastic day, and look forward to doing it again next year”.

Picture shows John Bonham receiving his award from Rachel Jagger-Thomas.


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