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Local Teacher Highly Commended at British Diversity Awards

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26
Mar


Local teacher Sophie Spillett from Milton Regis was recognised last Wednesday evening for her commitment to local children with special educational needs and disabilities at the 3rd British Diversity Awards. She received a “Highly Commended” award in the closely-contested category “Community Project of the Year”, sponsored by Centrica, for her Facebook group SEN Parents in Swale.

The British Diversity Awards promote the values of equality, diversity and inclusion by rewarding those individuals, organisations and unsung heroes who help to make the world and the workplace a better place for others.

On receiving the award, Sophie said "I’m in shock. I was honoured to get through to the final ceremony but with so many fantastic organisations in the category I am very proud to be recognised for my work. I started the online group as a side project to my tuition business with the aim of connecting local parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities."

"I recognise that having a child with special educational needs can be very isolating and I wanted to create a community where parents in similar circumstances could support each other. The group grew very rapidly in the beginning. It now has over 700 members and is growing every day. I also welcome small businesses and local charities to the group who can provide a product or service that benefits these children and their families."

The awards took place in the Great Room at the 5* Grosvenor House Hotel in London, with over 1,000 guests. Many celebrities attended the event, hosted by Dr Ranj Singh and sky news presenter Gillian Joseph, including Sinitta, Dane Baptiste, Duncan James and Simon Webbe from boyband Blue, and Dame Kelly Holmes.

Sophie began her teaching career at Longfield Academy in Dartford before working for the majority of her full time career at local Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey. She says, "It was at Oasis that my passion for special needs education really blossomed. The school has had a lot of bad press recently but the majority of students I worked with at that school were wonderful. I was attracted to the job there because I wanted to make a difference, but sadly my health meant I had to rethink my career. Now, I just want to inspire young people to achieve their dreams, whatever life throws at them. Anything is possible if you have the right mind-set."

Linda Riley, British Diversity Awards founder, said: "These awards are all about celebrating those who’ve put in the hard work to support Diversity and Inclusion, inspiring others to become involved. The companies and business leaders who received awards are a testament to the tremendous efforts being made in the corporate world to promote Diversity and Inclusion."

Alexandra McCauley, Chief People Officer at Burberry said: "We are delighted to support the British Diversity Awards again this year, and to celebrate the individuals and organisations driving progress towards a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world. We all have an important role to play in reaching this shared vision, and this year’s recipients are testament to what can be achieved with passion and commitment. Congratulations to all of the winners for their outstanding contribution to furthering this mission."





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