Seashell Trust in the spotlight at Shine a Light Awards

National charity Seashell Trust has been recognised for its outstanding work in supporting children and young people who use AAC at the Shine a Light ceremony held on Thursday 22nd March. The annual event celebrates excellence in speech, language and communication provision, and was hosted by British comic actress and writer, Sally Phillips with entertainment from Britain's Got Talent winner, Lee Ridley (Lost Voice Guy).

The Stockport based charity, who are dedicated to supporting children and young adults with complex learning disabilities and additional communication needs from across the UK, were awarded the Augmentative and Alternative Communication of the Year Award (AAC). The award was given to the charity for their dedication to giving the children and young people they support a voice and recognising their collaborative approach by specialist support staff.

Seashell Trust's Speech and Language Therapist Beccy Timbers was also recognized for the innovative approaches she uses to promote positive communication outcomes for students with MSI by receiving ‘highly commended’ in Communication Champion of the Year category.

The Shine a Light awards took place at Pearson's headquarters in London and finalists were selected by industry judges who chose winners that celebrated innovative work and excellent practice in supporting children and young people's speech, language and communication development.

One of the factors contributing to the charity's win of the AAC award was their outstanding results from its 120 pupils AAC related communication targets, revealing that a high proportion of pupils in the school and college had achieved their communication targets.

Kate Duggan, Speech and Language Therapy Lead and Lead for therapy outreach, said: "We're thrilled to be awarded the AAC award. Our staff work hard helping to develop the communication skills of children and young adults with complex and severe learning disabilities and communication needs. We're dedicated to making sure that those we work with have the best possible opportunities for successful communication, the most rewarding thing is seeing how those we work with develop – but it’s brilliant that we’re being recognised by The Communication Trust. 

"We’re always working on new and innovative ways to help enhance students communication, this award paired with the fantastic results that our pupils achieve when it comes to AAC shows that our forward thinking way of doing things is certainly working."