Angels Support Group Nominated for the UK’s Largest Diversity Awards

Angels Support Group, a local charity from North Herts/Stevenage has been nominated for the Community Organisation (Disability) award at The National Diversity Awards 2020. In addition, three members of the small team, Leise Cooper from Hitchin, Kirsten Bennet from Stevenage and Penny Howarth from Biggleswade have been nominated individually in the Positive Role Model (Disability) award category.

Nominate Angels Button

The charity is delighted to have been nominated, and it comes after they were successful in securing funding from the National Lottery Community Fund for five years from November 2019. The grant has enabled them to move to a new office in Letchworth and continue to develop their services. Parent Support Manager Leise Cooper said, “We are so delighted and excited to have been recognised by our community in this way. We really appreciate all the nominations and votes we have had. We are also really thrilled to have been successful with our grant from The National Lottery and would like to thank everyone who plays the National Lottery for the opportunity they have given us”.

The Breathtaking Liverpool Anglican Cathedral will play host to this year’s awards, to be held on 25th September. Britain’s most inspirational and selfless people will come together to honour the rich tapestry of our nation, recognising individuals and groups from grass roots communities.

The prestigious black tie event recognises nominees in their respective fields of diversity including age, disability, gender, race, faith, religion and sexual orientation.

Angels Profile

Angels supports families of children with Autistic Spectrum Condition and/or ADHD. We were formed by, and are led by, parents whose children face similar challenges. We were set up in 2004 as there was no support available locally for parents, and have grown from a few mums sharing a coffee to an organisation that has a membership of over 1500 families, and who work directly to support over 600 families a year.

Angels is an experience-led charity, based in Hertfordshire, which provides individualised, professional expertise and advice. We work alongside parents to build understanding and to empower them to hear their child’s voice. Our key aim is to maximise the individual potential of each child and young person.

We offer weekly group meetings, workshops and individual support for parents/ carers, an online moderated community for our members, and opportunities for families to find support, share ideas, experiences and concerns, and reduce isolation.

We are very proud of how much we have achieved in supporting our families over the years, in helping their children to grow up happy and achieve their dreams. We are a small charity with 4 part time staff and a small group of volunteers but we have built a strong community for our families in North Herts and Stevenage, and have helped to improve and develop services in Hertfordshire and build a better understanding of Autism and ADHD in our wider community, so that our families feel more included and their children and young people are better understood.

We see neurodiversity as a positive and aim to educate the world to appreciate all that neurodiversity can offer to our society, with the right understanding and support. We encourage parents and professionals to listen to the voice of the child, to see the world from their perspective and build their support around that, to help them to learn and develop into the best version of themselves rather than fit into society’s narrow expectation.

A great deal of our work is supporting families to understand their child or young person’s rights as a person with SEND, and to ensure they are met, that our young people have access to the education, healthcare, opportunities and support they deserve. We support parents by empowering them, by advocating for them and by giving advice, as well as emotionally supporting them through the sometimes adversarial system they can find themselves in, by helping them to work with the professionals around their children in order to get the best outcomes.

We also give practical advice for day to day life, based on our own lived experiences and training, to help families overcome the challenges of parenting a neurodiverse child in a society that isn’t designed for them yet.

Quotes from Nominations

“They have helped so much with my son, my granddaughter and now my grandson. If it wasn’t for their help over the years my son wouldn’t be leading as normal a life as he is but without their advice my granddaughter would most certainly be in care and not living with me”

“Without the support of this group I would not been able to keep my child in school. They gave really good advice and supported me as a parent”

“They are doing such important work in an environment where few parents are equipped with the advocacy skills required to get the best support available for their children. Well done, Angels”

ITV News will be working in association with The National Diversity Awards to highlight role models and community organisations on regional and national news channels.

Rachel Corp, Acting Editor, ITV News said; “We are pleased that ITV News will once again be supporting the National Diversity Awards. ITV News remains committed to telling the stories of those, who through their work and dedication to helping others have made a difference; enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion in our society. We look forward to introducing the 2020 nominees to our viewers across the regions and nation.”

The UK’s largest diversity awards has attracted a growing list of supporters including Adam Hills, Graham Norton and Katie Piper. Sir Lenny Henry CBE, last year’s winner of the Celebrity of the Year gong said;

“Diversity to me means involving everybody without any discrimination; its means having integrated groups in society, it means fairness and total inclusion and that’s what the National Diversity Awards are about. Congratulations to everyone who has been nominated, you’re all doing a fantastic job, rock on!”

The National Diversity Awards receives over 28,000 nominations and votes annually. Founder & CEO Paul Sesay said, “As we enter our 09th awards season, The National Diversity Awards prepare to welcome a host of outstanding role models and charities to our family. We look to those who represent progress, spirit and resilience, and I cannot wait to learn about the wonderful work being carried out this year”.

Nominations are now open and close May 18th 2020 – so don’t miss out on your chance to get involved!

Shortlisted nominees will be announced shortly after this date.

To nominate please visit: www.nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/nominate. Click on the map to find us in Letchworth, HItchin, Stevenage and Biggleswade.

Or for a nomination form please email: emma@nationaldiversityawards.co.uk