Meet the 2020 Winners

Jemima Browning

Sport Volunteer Award

Congratulations to Jemima Browning, who started the Tadcaster Stingrays swimming squad for young people with disabilities four years ago at the age of 15. She also coaches at the club.

Award Sponsored by Sparks Media

More about Jemima

Jemima Browning started Tadcaster Stingrays, a new swimming squad for young people with disabilities at Tadcaster Swimming Pool in 2016. Starting as a volunteer coach, Jemima then aged 15 was so passionate about this dream.

What grew from a seed of thought is now a reality. Driven by her 13-year-old brother Will who has Down’s Syndrome it was Jemimas’ belief that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy sport. Will was developing his swimming skills but it was difficult to find a group that catered for his needs Jemima has been swimming all her life and has been a former member of Tadcaster Swim Squad Fiona Garnett has nothing but praise for Jemima’s efforts and said: Jemima volunteered with the Junior Fit Club for older children and wanted a more advanced group for children with disabilities, in the hope that we can eventually form a competitive club for these children.

The Tadcaster Stingrays who are coached by Jemima who has gone on to achieve her Level 1 and 2 Swimming Teaching Award and her Level 1 Swim Coaching award. Some of the Stingrays are now competing in the Special Olympics and the Great Britain Downs Syndrome Swimming Group Tadcaster Stingrays is open to young people aged between 11 and 18 with learning and physical disabilities who can already swim unaided without armbands for at least 25 metres. Jemima believes the club is all about inclusion and promoting sport for all. It is an opportunity for the young people to gain a sense of belonging and to be proud members of a group.

Lauren Doherty

Project Volunteer Award

Congratulations to Lauren Doherty. After being paralysed from the waist down when she was hit by a van in 2008, Lauren has since dedicated her time to raising awareness of road safety for young people.

Award Sponsored by GGP Consult
More about Lauren

Life changing Road Traffic Collison 11 year ago.

On a summer’s evening in August 2008, Lauren had been out with a group of friends in Harrogate. At about 4am she set off walking back home from her friends house. She doesn’t know what made her cross the road at the wrong time, but she did, without looking and taking due care and attention. She was hit by a van and is now completely paralysed, needing everything doing for her.

She required several operations on her pelvis, vertebrae, wrist, aorta due to a bleed, and skin grafts on her legs. She had a tracheostomy fitted for ventilation. After being in an induced coma for the first three days, subsequently spent three-and-a-half weeks in intensive care. In total she spent 16 months in different hospitals, with the last eight months spent in an SCI Centre.

She was so determined that she would be able to breathe again without the use of a ventilator, that she made it her focus to prove everyone wrong. Eventually after two years of trials, she was in a position to not be totally dependent on a machine to help her breathe all the time. This meant a great deal to her and showed everyone around her that she wasn’t going to be defeated!

In November 2009, she moved back home to her parents and then finally in October 2013, she moved into her own purpose-built bungalow. Lauren had been involved in every decision with regards to the design of the property as this was going to allow her to live independently, which she so wanted.

Lauren always wanted to speak about Road Safety in schools, sharing her experience in the hope that it would prevent anyone else experiencing what she has done. From holding parent’s hands, not using your mobile phone while crossing the road, to being aware of the roads on a night out, her message was relevant to all age groups.

As a result of Lauren talking to one group of children and Headteacher of her old primary school sharing details of the presentation with other schools, it led to other Schools in the area, Group leaders (Brownies, Cubs etc), Police Forces, Fire & Rescue Services, Health Authorities and Local Councils all contacting Road Safety Talks (Lauren’s project name) and, to date, her speaking voluntarily to more than 6500 Children and Young Adults either independently or alongside these Agencies in the Yorkshire region.

This work includes the collaboration with North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, Harrogate Borough Council, North Yorkshire County Council and the Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust to help present as part of their ‘Learn & Live’ Campaign.

This campaign is aimed at Sixth Form Children, 16 years plus, who are new to or currently learning to drive, raising their awareness of consequences of poor driving and being a passenger in a vehicle driven by a young driver. Drugs, alcohol, mobile phones plus other distractions are covered via video clips and presentations.

Her hope is that by sharing the reality of what can happen if you don’t take care when crossing the road, it will, in a small way, help reduce the number of accidents on the roads. She genuinely wants to educate children to not make the same mistake she did, highlighting that her life will never be the same again as a result of not concentrating on the road and making a life-changing, split second decision to cross the road at the wrong time. As she states in her presentation; if her story prevents even one person from experiencing what she has been through, then talking to people about her life and road safety is worthwhile.

Bex Wilson

Corporate Volunteer Award

Congratulations to Bex Wilson from Zarach Leeds. Bex, a deputy headteacher, founded Zarach, which provides beds and basics to children in poverty, after seeing a need in one of her pupils.

Award Sponsored by Eliziam Events

More about Bex

Bex Wilson is an Assistant Head Teacher at an inner-City Primary School in Leeds. One teacher and her friends trying to make sure kids in the UK have a bed. Zarach exists to help children and their families out of crisis. They are active in schools and in the community. They see the problems that poverty causes every day and understand that more should be done to help. They have the skills, passion and drive to make an immediate and real difference.
350 Bed Bundles given out, 50 Partner Schools in their referral network, 8 referrals each week.

You can see more information on their website and Facebook Page Zarach Leeds

Hala Wadi

Community Volunteer Award

Congratulations to Hala, who volunteers with Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network as a project interpreter, following her own experience of coming to the UK as a refugee five years ago.

Sponsored by Poems & Pictures Publishing

More about HALA

Hala arrived in the UK five years ago as a refugee. Whilst waiting for a decision on her asylum claim she quickly became an invaluable volunteer for five different Leeds charities working with refugees and asylum seekers. She is extraordinarily generous with her time, her professional and language skills, and her personal experiences.

Hala and her family began as clients of PAFRAS (Positive Action For Refugees and Asylum Seekers). Before long, Hala started volunteering there and she continues to this day. She never misses one of the weekly drop in sessions. Over time her role has expanded, from helping in the kitchen, to interpreting between English and Arabic, and to screening new clients.

Hala also volunteers as an interpreter for Manuel Bravo Project, a charity which provides free legal assistance to refugees and asylum seekers and for Give a Gift, who work with different disadvantaged communities across Leeds. As well as her interpreting, Hala also volunteers giving talks about asylum seekers for Give a Gift, and runs a women’s group giving local women a much needed chance to meet and support each other. Hala was named as Give a Gift’s Volunteer of the Year in 2018.

Hala is a well-known figure in the city and her skills and connections were acknowledged by Touchstone, the health and wellbeing charity, when they gave her a volunteer role as a Migrant Community Networker volunteer using her experience to help others from her community settle into Leeds, use services and have a voice with what happens in Leeds.

Finally, Hala volunteers for LASSN (Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network) who are nominating her for this award. She volunteers several days each week for all of LASSN’s projects as an interpreter, helping us deliver training to new volunteers, and teaching Arabic to several of the staff members. She is unfailingly helpful and her contributions are always the highest rated part of the volunteer training. She speaks so movingly about her experiences as an asylum seeker and really helps new volunteers to understand the experiences of the people they will be supporting.

In her own words (quoted from LASSN’s 2019 annual report) “Volunteering with LASSN has helped me to find connections with people, their lives, stories, problems as well as possible solutions. All these connections empower me all the time by a sense of accomplishment… Volunteering has been the perfect vehicle to awaken that deeply unseen talent inside me. Being a volunteer, supporting others and sending them positive signals impact my well being and bridge the gap inside me to be part of the community. It’s about my inner peace, mental health, bring a precious smile to someone distressed and encourage individuals to venture life. Finally, volunteering has perfectly transformed all of my existence.”

Karen Goodman

Care Volunteer Award

Congratulations to Karen Goodman, a busy mum of three adopted children with Downs Syndrome, who founded the LS29 support group for families who have children with additional needs twelve years ago.

Sponsored by RM Language Services

More about Karen

Karen is a prolific Volunteer and role model. She was instrumental in setting up LS29 support group over 12 years ago. It is a registered charity for families who have children with additional needs who live in the LS29 area. There are now 140 families who are involved in this group.LS29 Group offers support, activities and fun! They now have rhythm gymnastic groups taking part in national competitions and are also working with Bradford Council and services to help improve things for the families. The group is a social network for sharing knowledge and experiences. They aim to offer a safe inclusive environment for the families as a whole which may not be available otherwise. Karen puts in huge effort to secure funds so that families with children with additional needs can enjoy a host of activities and short breaks allowing them to spend time with similar families and to feel included when so often in everyday life it can feel incredibly lonely and non-inclusive. Karen encourages the families to be involved in the community and is an amazing example of what can be achieved with determination. Recently Karen and her 3 children took part in a charity triathlon to raise money for the hospice that cared for her Mum.

Karen is mum to 3 adopted children who have Down’s Syndrome and she is a great advocate for disability rights.. She also was a prime mover in establishing ‘Outside the Box’ in Ilkley- a café which enables young adults with learning difficulties work in a café environment. This has expanded in its work and she was a trustee for some years.

One of the families in LS29 say ‘ Karen has had such an impact on our lives, she always makes time for others despite her own busy life, selflessly dedicates her energy and time to help others’ She herself wants to give confidence to those families to push the boundaries out in their lives, to see potential and possibilities and develop inclusive communities.

Charlotte Rose

Young Volunteer Award

Congratulations to Charlotte, who despite suffering a brain haemorrhage at the age of eight and being left with a permanent disability, has spent 14 years tirelessly fundraising for various charities, including the ward at Leeds General Infirmary where she was treated.

Award Sponsored by Soroptimist Yorkshire
More about Charlotte

At the age of 8 ,Charlotte suffered a brain haemorrhage, caused by an AVM (Arteriovenous Malformation). This resulted in the need for major brain surgery to remove the clot. As a result of the haemorrhage, she was left paralysed down her left -hand side. After several weeks in hospital, she began intensive physiotherapy and recovered some of the use. Age 9 she had ‘Stereotactic’ surgery to reduce the size of the scar tissue left on her brain.

In 2008, two years after the haemorrhage, Charlotte was given the all clear and despite being on constant medication, and with a disability (she has a permanent limp) she started fundraising to help others and established The Charlotte Rose Trust:

Now 22, and since her diagnosis, Charlotte has raised funds and continues to do so for several causes including:
Funds for Ward 48, paediatric neurological unit at the LGI, where she was treated.
Fund raising initiatives included
*a ‘Wacky Hair Day’ – (this was partly due to the fact she had to have one side of her head shaved during surgery.
*Bake Sales, village fetes
*This all contributed to the total of £3500 that went towards new toys for the children and also new equipment such as hoists etc…

Skiing was an activity Charlotte loved before she was ill, however it was quite some time before she was back on skis.
So, her father and his work colleagues/friends skied 1000 miles in 3 days for The Charlotte Rose Trust and raised £10,000. This was doubled to £20,000 by Sir Terry Bramall.

This £20,000 was distributed between various charities, including Martin House, The Samantha Dixon Trust and the Brain Tumour Trust. .
Following her fundraising efforts for Ward 48, Charlotte, was then nominated for the Child of Courage Award.
In 2014 she started fund raising for the charity, Snappy. Based in York, this charity provide support for children, young people and their families with disabilities ranging from acute to profound.

A keen photographer, Charlotte, produced a 2015 calendar based on photographs she had taken in Italy. She started the sale of these through her school, and later went on to market them via the York Press, Yorkshire Post and also Radio York. In total her calendars raised £5000. A sum of money which went a long way to helping the staff, children and their families at Snappy.

Her most recent fundraising effort involved her best friend. Emma’s mum, Joyce was diagnosed with a brain tumour back in 2012. However, after undergoing numerous craniotomies and radiotherapy over the course of 7 years, Emma’s mum sadly lost her battle with cancer on 7th July 2019. Emma and Charlotte had already made the decision at the start of the year to complete the Great North Run (13.6 miles) in her mum’s honour, but this was now even more important. On September 8th, 2019 they crossed the line together.

In total, Emma and Charlotte managed to raise £5300 for Leeds Cares. (The charity who helped and cared for her mum throughout her illness).
This will contribute to the research required to assist in finding a cure for brain tumours.

Charlotte continues to raise funds for several causes. She is very modest about her achievements.

Trude Silman

Lifetime Achievement Award

Trude arrived in the UK as a Jewish refugee aged ten without her parents, just before the outbreak of World War 2. As a member and former Chair of the Leeds-based Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association, she has spoken to thousands of people about the dangers of racism and discrimination and, now in her 90s, is still volunteering with the newly opened Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre at Huddersfield University.

Award Sponsored by GGP Consult
More about Trude

Trude Silman was born, the youngest of three children, into a Jewish family in Bratislava in April 1929.

During the thirties, and with the rise of Nazism in Europe, her father had the foresight to send Trude to relative safety in England. She arrived as a refugee just before the outbreak of World War 2. Trude was just ten years old and would never to see her parents again.

Her father perished at Auschwitz in April 1941 and she is still searching for her mother. She believes her mother was probably held at the only women’s concentration camp and died on a death march during the last few days of the war.

Trude talks warmly of the kindness of strangers – those that offered her sanctuary and helped her to build a new life in England. She studied Biochemistry at Leeds University, where she met her husband and the city became her home. She became a Bio Medic and was involved in many high profile studies.
As a member and former Chair of the Leeds-based, Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association she has spoken to thousands of people about the dangers of racism and discrimination so that future generations can learn about the dangers of intolerance and the ease with which prejudice can lead to genocide.
Now in her 90s Trude is as busy as ever and is involved with promoting the newly opened Holocaust and Education Centre at Huddersfield University.
Trude says that volunteering has helped her to cope with the devastating loss of her parents and, strengthened by the notion that she is informing and educating, she lives in the hope that such atrocities will never happen again.