2021 WellChild Awards
The huge disruption caused by Coronavirus in 2020 meant the Awards were postponed for the year, but with the support of our sponsors and the general public they are back and more important than ever in 2021. Many of the vulnerable children, young people and their families supported by WellChild have struggled immensely during COVID-19 and we hope that the 2021 WellChild Awards will help to shine a light on the challenges they have faced, whilst bringing some much needed hope and positivity to their lives at this difficult and uncertain time.
ABOUT THE WELLCHILD AWARDS
The WellChild Awards, in association with GSK, celebrates the inspirational qualities of the UK’s seriously ill children and young people, along with those who go that extra mile to make a difference to their lives. The challenges many have faced through COVID-19 have made hearing and recognising their stories more important than ever.
“These awards were created to shine a bright light on an amazingly brave group of children and young people. Life for families caring for seriously ill children is exceptionally tough. And without WellChild it is even tougher.”
– WellChild Patron, The Duke of Sussex
Our 2021 Winners
Inspirational Child 4-6 Years Award
Seven-year-old Carmela Chillery-Watson from Wiltshire has Congenital Muscular Dystrophy a condition that weakens skeletal and respiratory muscles and causes heart defects, plus deformities in the spine and joints. During Lockdown, Carmela wanted to help cure her condition and help others like her. For the next six months she completed a series of challenges including a 2.6 mile marathon challenge in the garden, a London virtual WalkWithCarmela and a 30-day WonderWomanWalk, completing 300km with her mum. She helped raise more than £50,000 for Muscular Dystrophy UK. Mum Lucy said: “Carmela never complained once about her pains and discomforts. Just seeing the fundraising money increase was enough for her.”
Inspirational Child 7-11 Years Award
11-year-old Anzah from Battersea has complex neurological disorders which affect every aspect of her daily life, from walking and eating to coping with anxiety attacks. Despite these challenges Anzah is fiercely independent. She attends mainstream school and takes part in lots of activities. She has won awards with her frame football team and, having overcome her phobia of water, certificates for her swimming. Anzah has constantly defied doctors’ expectations. Through hard work and determination can now take a few independent steps, has caught up with her peers in her schoolwork and even overcame her anxiety disorder to address a room of 100 people.
Inspirational Young Person 12-14 Years Award
William Cuthill, aged 13, from Angus has Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, His condition can cause painful joint flare ups and is a silent and ‘unseen’ disability which he bears with remarkable fortitude. In the past he has had to undergo multiple treatment regimens and often experienced unkindness at school but always remained cheerful, positive and optimistic. William has raised more than £5,000 for the Teapot Trust charity, for which he is a youth ambassador. A keen musician and bagpiper, he often pipes guests into the charity’s functions. Charity founder Dr Laura Young said: “William soldiers on, thinking of everyone else but himself. He is a very special boy who would be astounded to properly understand how much his help has been appreciated.”
Inspirational Young Person 15-18 Years Award
Luke Fisher, 16, from South Glamorgan, has schizencephaly, a rare condition causing damage to the brain resulting in profound physical disabilities and health conditions. Luke’s condition means he is immobile and is wholly dependent on others for activities of daily living. He has undergone many operations. Despite all his health problems, Luke has been hardworking and dedicated with his attendance at school and despite the pandemic, he continues to work hard in sixth form. Luke’s nominator, nurse Claire Gamble, said: “Despite physical limitations, Luke does not allow his condition to hold him back. Luke is an inspirational young man with a wicked sense of humour. Luke always brightens up the day with his amazing smile and contagious laugh.”
Young Carer 4-11 Years Award
Isaac Vials Moore
Isaac is 10, from Crosby in Liverpool and has only ever wanted to help care for his younger sister, Gwen, since she was born with complex medical needs. He is unfailingly kind and proactive in supporting both Gwen and his mum Cora, who is also unwell, whilst coping with his own diagnosis of ADHD and autism spectrum disorder. As well as helping them with many daily activities, Isaac fundraises for charities which support his sister and set up signing classes with Gwen’s teacher to make it easier for her peers communicate with her. During lockdown Isaac stepped up again. He helped his mum with Gwen’s online learning and adapted his own indoor exercise routine to support his sister’s physiotherapy. The result was that Gwen, who adores her big brother, took her first steps in years.
Young Carer 12-18 Years Award
Gracie, aged 13, from Greenwich in London, provides invaluable and sometimes life-saving support to her older brother, Alfie, who has Type I diabetes. Gracie’s caring nature and her composure and courage in an emergency, are invaluable to her mum, Sarah, who has multiple sclerosis. Occasionally Sarah has been at hospital appointments or unwell when Alfie has suddenly become seriously ill. Each time Gracie has taken everything in her stride and stepped in to administer the urgent treatment Alfie needs. A keen and accomplished footballer, Gracie is the source immense pride and joy for her family who are delighted to give her the recognition she deserves.
Special Recognition Award
Croydon 18-year-old Rhea, was born with cerebral palsy and is now extremely ill, facing life-threatening health crises every day. Rhea, who is blind, has limited movement and uncontrolled epilepsy faces many challenges but this amazing young woman continues to defy the odds. Despite having to shield for most of the past year, she has recently learned to smile and set up a business making greetings cards. She has also accomplished so much to support charities, like undertaking sponsored walks in her wheelchair. For the past five years Rhea has been growing her hair to donate to make wigs for children who have lost their hair during cancer treatment. Her mother, Purabi Lakhani, describes Rhea as a real superhero.
Special Recognition Award
Harvey Eustace, aged 11, from the West Midlands, has autism and ADHD. Struggling during lockdown, Harvey told his mum he wanted to do something nice for the community to help people. He designed a memory garden for the local park, a place for those who have lost someone and maybe couldn’t go to their funeral due to the restrictions in place. Harvey got permission and support and held a socially distanced fundraiser at the park. Now Harvey’s design for the garden is becoming a reality. His mum Stephanie who nominated him said: “Harvey lacks confidence and I think this will help him to realise what a good thing he is doing for his community and what a thoughtful and empathetic thing he has come up with.”
Outstanding Professional Award
Anna Marie McLachlan
Anna-Marie, originally from Scotland, has supported the Park family in Oxfordshire for the past nine years, in particular looking after 12-year-old Meriel who was born with a rare congenital muscle disorder. Described by Meriel’s mother Camilla as a real-life Mary Poppins, Anna-Marie is so much more than a carer to Meriel. She has shown exceptional kindness and dedication in her determination to help Meriel achieve all her dreams. The two share a passion for sport and Anna-Marie, a black belt in karate, has found ingenious ways to tweak all sorts of sports to enable Meriel to take part. Together they have successfully accomplished several fundraising challenges, including reaching the summit of Snowdon, and written and illustrated a book about this to raise funds for charity.
Dulcie Scott from Gloucestershire has been named as Volunteer winner of the awards. Dulcie is a costume supervisor in the world of film and tv, working on big productions such as Downton Abbey. When productions shutdown at the start of lockdown Dulcie heard that NHS and charity workers were struggling to find scrubs so she bought some fabric out of her own purse and decided to make sets to hand out for free. She set up a Go Fund Me page, raising over £100,000, and she and her team began making thousands of sets of scrubs and masks which were supplied for free to those in desperate need of PPE. WellChild distributed thousands of items made by Dulcie and her team to families with seriously ill children across the UK.
Inspirational Nurse Award
Becky Bedford, a Clinical Nurse Specialist for Epilepsy and Neurodisability at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has won the Best Nurse category. Becky was nominated by two colleagues who praised her tireless work over the last summer to ensure her complex needs patients who required aerosol generated procedures (AGPs) were treated equally and could return to school with their peers and not be left in lockdown. She networked over social media, led meetings and lobbied for change, writing an open letter to Matt Hancock and Gavin Williamson to ask for clearer and more practical guidance around AGPs in schools. Her nominators said: “Becky has led a revolution to solve the issues that the Aerosol Generating Procedure rules within an education setting have created for many families and children.”
Inspirational Doctor Award
Dr Chris Grime
Dr Chris Grime is a Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool. He was nominated by Sarah Mogan, mum to Harry who is treated at the hospital for complex health needs. Sarah says she cannot thank Dr Grime enough for the massive difference he has made to Harry’s life. When Harry was born prematurely Dr Grime’s compassion stood out. 11 years later, when he joined the team supporting Harry’s breathing problems, he has helped Harry live life to the full, making arrangements for his condition to be safely monitored at home to avoid unnecessary trips to hospital. During the pandemic his willingness to go above and beyond was particularly appreciated by the family, as he guided them through measures for using PPE at home and advised Harry’s teachers on a safe return to school.
Thank you to our sponsors and supporters
Every care has been taken with The WellChild Awards 2021 to adhere to the Government COVID-19 protocols and guidelines*. We will continue to monitor this advice to make sure every precaution is taken, ensuring all our guests, staff and crew are safe; whilst still providing some much-needed hope and positivity at the event during this difficult and uncertain time.
These protocols include but are not limited to:
- Revised guest numbers
- All guests over 11 asked to present a negative lateral flow test before entering event
- Track and Trace
- All WellChild members of staff have had at least their first vaccination
- Cleaning stations throughout
- Hand sanitizer on every table
- Masks and Visors available to use and guests asked to bring their own
- Tables of no more than 6
- Suppliers wearing masks
- Event signage including reminders of wearing a mask and washing your hands, along with floor markers to ensure social distancing
- All touch points regularly cleaned down
- All guests sent a reminder of covid protocols to adhere to ahead of the event
- Event taking place outside to improve ventilation, if in the Nash conservatory due to wet weather all windows and doors will be opened
- One way system in place if indoors