There are some awards that you dream about winning – an Oscar, Noble Peace Prize, Rear of the Year.
There are some that you’d rather not win – Britain’s Got Talent, your ‘BFH’, a Darwin Award.
There are even awards you’d much prefer it if someone else won, cue the annual ‘Foot in Mouth Award’ (see here for previous winners!)
Having been involved in launching the Shine a Light 2012 awards, hopefully I can convince you that winning a ‘Shine a Light’ Award is up there with the best of them. However don’t take my word for it, just ask some of the last year’s winners.
Ask Bhaimia Mariyam from Newham Community Health. Like many other NHS departments, times have been pretty tough lately. In spite of the many challenges, however, Bhaimia and her colleagues have managed to create one of the best SLT Teams in the country. From their point of view, winning a 2011 Shine a Light Award has helped to significantly raise their profile and, just as importantly, boost staff morale. As Bhaimia pointed out, the food was also “delicious” at the awards ceremony!
For Jack Marshall, winning the Young Person of the Year represented something else. His award was an opportunity to highlight that young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) can and do achieve just like anyone else. He moved everyone to tears at the award ceremony last year when he said "just don’t give up trying".
The best thing about winning the Early Years Award for the Nursery at Norwich University was the response from parents. As the manager, Anne Meyer, explained, staff have received lots of positive feedback from parents, who are now even more aware now of the importance of their role in supporting communication skills.
The 2012 Shine a Light Awards has 11 categories and is now open for application. We know you’re out there doing amazing things to support children’s communication development. Please apply so that we can tell everyone else www.shinealightawards.co.uk
I’ll leave you now with the immortal words of former England football manager, Steve McClaren, who said, “He (Wayne Rooney) is inexperienced, but he's experienced in terms of what he's been through.” Winner, 2007 Foot in Mouth Award.