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The 2016 Jenny Barrett Deaf Child Achievement Awards took place at Bournemouth Deaf Centre on Sunday 9th October.

The Jenny Barrett Deaf Child Achievement Award is split into two categories, Junior and Senior. Junior is for any child up to the age of 11 years old and Senior is for 12 to 18 year olds. The awards set out to reward the achievements of deaf and hard of hearing children and young people from Dorset up to the age of 18 and can be for anything from an act of courage or helping others, overcoming a difficulty, or reading a piece of work in assembly at school. Just so long as it is a real achievement for that individual child.

In addition, an award from The Bournemouth Deaf Club is also made to the child or young person judged to have made a special endeavour. 

Many thanks to Robin Barrett and Keith Simmons MBE who along with our chairperson Kevin Forbes had the difficult job of choosing the winners.

Please note that the written nominations below are only a summary or part of the nomination as they can include confidential and personal information which is not suitable for publication.


The Winner of the 2016 Senior Jenny Barrett Deaf Child Achievement Award is:

Ben Naylor

Ben Naylor has been nominated by Mellissa May, Advisory Teacher Hearing Support Service, for growing in confidence and becoming more independent at school. He has grown in confidence when discussing difficulties in the classroom environment and has also grown in confidence when talking to teachers himself. He has shown hard work and commitment which meant he gained brilliant GCSE results. He has now gone on to study four A levels and is an inspiration to everyone.

Our congratulations along with the senior winners shield, a personal trophy, a signed photo of Simon Francis (Bournemouth AFC Captain) and a cheque for £100 go to Ben - Well Done !

The Winner of the 2016 Junior Jenny Barrett Deaf Child Achievement Award is:

Lara Nobrega


Lara Nobrega has been nominated by Sue MacDermott, Advisory Teacher Hearing Support Services, for the amazing way she has acquired a wonderful level of English since arriving in the UK, despite her deafness. Also for the support she has given to other implantees like herself. She is outgoing and keen to make friends and does not let her deafness hold her back. She joined in two of the gatherings of primary aged cochlear implantees and made particular efforts to befriend and encourage a shy little girl who was very cautious about joining in the group. With Lara’s kind support the girl became confident enough to try some of the activities and really enjoyed herself.

Congratulations to Lara from all of us. Lara was presented with the Junior Winners shield, a personal shield, a signed photo of Simon Francis (Bournemouth AFC Captain) and a cheque for £100.


The winner of the 2016 award was Sam Hibberd. This award is given by Keith Simmons MBE on behalf of Bournemouth Deaf  Centre. Sam has been nominated by Sue MacDermott, Advisory Teacher Hearing Support Service, for being a diligent and hardworking student achieving a fantastic set of GCSE’s. He was praised and liked by all the staff at his school because of his attitude to his work and the efforts he made. Sam has also succeeded in getting an engineering apprenticeship when he finished year 11 and is a thoroughly nice young man who will always work hard to overcome any barriers his hearing loss presents. Sam received a cash prize from the Bournemouth Deaf Club.

In addition to our Senior winner Ben and the Endeavour Award winner Sam, also nominated in the Senior category were:

Freya Pretty has been nominated by Neil McMullen, Stepfather, as despite her increasing hearing loss over the past year she has lead her scout troop through a number of camping expeditions culminating in her team winning the regional scout camping competition. She was nominated as Bournemouth Mayor’s Scout and was shortlisted to one of seven. She has also joined and is participating in the Ferndown Tennis Club, enrolled and being close to completing her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award and gave a presentation to teachers and classroom assistants about the needs of deaf children within school and how to improve communication skills with deaf pupils. She does not let her deafness stop her from participating in group activities and is not shy of rising and surmounting the challenges that her deafness presents.

Ethan Drewett has two nominations. He has been nominated by Elisabeth Gower, Advisory Teacher Hearing Support Service, for the tremendous achievements during his transition to and during his first year at Secondary School. In Year 6 Ethan struggled to communicate and lacked confidence in school and felt ‘lost’ in the classroom. With the prospect of Secondary school ahead he embarked on a programme to boost his confidence which was a tremendous effort for him with his memory and speech issues. On starting secondary school he faced new challenges and made a video to help explain his needs. He became an exemplary student, all his teachers commending his enthusiastic participation in classes giving 100%. He took part in the Year 7 performance of ‘Thriller’ which was impossible to contemplate a few months before. He represented the school at athletics. He won the Year 7 Design and Technology Award and the head teacher commendation for Art. Anyone working alongside Ethan counts him as an inspiration for his enthusiasm, determination and wicked sense of humor. He was also nominated by Melissa May, Advisory Teacher Hearing Support Service, for the growth in his confidence and for the achievements he has made at school. Although only knowing him for a short while he has shown his new found confidence.

Ruby Ball has been nominated by Melissa May, Advisory Teacher Hearing Support Service, for her confidence when discussing her hearing loss which resulted in potential issues with her exams being sorted and changes made which not only benefitted her. She has worked very hard and achieved excellent GCSE’s and is now studying three A levels and an Enrichment Programme. She is also helping her Advisory Teacher to organize some sessions where some younger girls in her area with a hearing loss can get together.

Maddy Forbes has been nominated by Michele Touye, Advisory Teacher Hearing Support Service, for the positive outlook she has on life and does not let her hearing loss stand in her way. She has a variety of interests outside school and is included in school life. Recently she felt the need to address the problem of not being able to follow conversations and banter at lunch times and wanted her friends to be deaf aware.  Along with another pupil with a hearing loss, she sent her friends text messages explaining the problem first which made it easier to discuss later. She has also spoken to a group of TAs and teachers on the HSS Induction Day explaining the difficulties a secondary pupil with a hearing loss faces in school and what steps they can take to overcome these difficulties, she did this whilst feeling unwell and the feedback was very complimentary.

In addition to our Junior winner Lara, also nominated in the Junior category were:

Saul Pearce has two nominations. He has been nominated by Michele Touye, Advisory Teacher Hearing Support Service, for the way he has overcome his anxieties and grown in confidence. Until recently he would worry about taking messages to other classrooms and would not collect certificates in assembly at school. He would rarely speak and when he did it was with a quiet voice. In the last few months he has transformed! He is a happy smiley boy who will hand over his radio aid in assemblies and take messages. It is unbelievable to see how much more confident he is and to hear him chatting and laughing.  He was also nominated by his father, Paul Pearce, for the massive way he has changed in the way he handles things and grown in confidence. Attending the family activity weekend and joining in and working with other children and taking part in a film club where his skills in physical animation for film making are fantastic. He has worked hard coping with his hearing loss. 

Owen Bray has been nominated by Sue Gillson, Advisory Teacher Hearing Support Services, for his fantastic all round progress since he started school in September 2015, for his willingness and determination ‘to have a go’ and enthusiastically and whole heartedly tries new activities both in and out of school. He relishes learning and is always keen to put up his hand and contribute in class and to learn new songs and rhymes.  He was given one of the leading roles in the class Christmas performance and was one of the stars of the show, remembering his lines and speaking them loud and clear! He has recently learnt to swim through sheer determination and a few days later taught himself to dive. 

Mason Bedford has been nominated by Sue Gillson, Advisory Teacher Hearing Support Service, for overcoming his anxieties about a second implant operation. For being brave about the operation and for the mature way he has coped. He was initially unwilling to even contemplate the operation but gradually he began to ask questions and eventually decided he wanted to go ahead with it. Implant Service staff reported how well he did in hospital and how well he co-operated with the lengthy process of the post-operative tuning. It can take a long time for a new processor to sound normal and you need to persist with wearing it, but Mason is wearing his new left one consistently alongside his right one, and is making excellent progress. 

Conor Tobin has been nominated by Sue Gillson, Advisory Teacher Hearing Support Service, for overcoming his shyness and being such a fantastic host at the HSS second social event for cochlear implant users. At the first get together in unfamiliar surroundings and with other children and adults he barely knew, it had been an ordeal for Conor to such an extent that we were concerned that he would refuse to attend a second time. However, he surpassed all our hopes. He designed invitations and welcome posters, helped to decorate the room and then welcomed every guest at the door. He had learned everyone’s name and helped to organize games, even spontaneously initiating a game during snack time. He joined in with the group photograph with a big smile and was the perfect host. All the adults involved were thrilled to see him growing in confidence.

Molly Stagg has two nominations. She has been nominated by family friend Rachel Caines for her caring thoughtful nature. She is an amazing sister to nine siblings, helping with her three younger siblings who also wear hearing aids, and can be challenging at times. Recently Molly’s Great Grandmother passed away and she was a fantastic support for her mother, helping with her newborn sibling. Molly takes all this in her stride; her attitude to life is inspiring. Molly was also nominated by her uncle, John Russell, for being such a caring person during the stressful period when her Great Grandmother passed away. She helped her mother with all the younger siblings and she would also help care for her great Nan taking her water and sitting talking to her. Though really upset she continued to be a pillar of strength for her mum and the rest of the family. She is a natural carer and the family is very lucky to have such a caring child.

Harry Lake has been nominated by his mother, Judith Morris, for the fantastic glowing report he received from school and the improvement he has made, he is a totally different boy much calmer and relaxed. He is now able to tell us and communicate what is frustrating him and making him angry. He is much calmer at home and is building a relationship with his father by signing which he his slowly learning. Since joining his new school he has improved his reading and spelling age by 1 year 5 months, winning bronze, silver and gold spelling badges. He loves reading and has also joined a football club. His parents are very proud of him for all his hard work, settling down, and gaining confidence managing his behaviour by listening, engaging, conversation and learning. 

Well done to all everyone who was nominated! All nominees received a certificate, a £20 voucher and also a signed photo of Simon Francis (Bournemouth AFC Captain).

Senior and Junior nominees pictured with Robin Barrett

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