Examiner Community Awards 2011: Stan White wins Teacher of the Year Award
STAN White made the life-changing decision to give up a lucrative job as an insolvency lawyer to pursue a career that is making such a dramatic impact on young disabled children and their families.
He has a 16-year-old son with Down’s syndrome and wanted to make a difference to young people’s lives – and what a difference he’s making.
"I was very shocked when I found out I had been nominated. I am just doing my job. You don’t go into teaching to win awards. I am doing something that I really enjoy."
His energy, enthusiasm and empathy for the children he teaches makes Stan a charismatic figure and he has worked at Lowerhouses CE Junior, Infant and Early Years School’s special unit for children with speech and developmental delay since 2005.
One parent said: "My son has blossomed in his time with the school. I cannot put into words the respect and admiration my family have for his teacher.
"Mr White’s energy, innovative approach to teaching, patience and compassion for all of his students is truly admirable.’’
Mr White said: "It is lovely to be nominated and fantastic to win. I hope to carry on for many years doing a job I love. It is so rewarding."
Other nominees in this category, sponsored by Stafflex, were Christina Quashie and Anna Mantle.
Examiner Community Awards 2011: Ben Pogson wins Courage Award
AT a time when he must have been terrified at the prospect of undergoing major heart surgery, Ben Pogson only thought of his family and then helped them through a traumatic time in all their lives.
He took major heart surgery in his stride and has been inspirational for his family. And just a few weeks after open heart surgery, Ben was back at school and surprised everyone by returning to his beloved karate classes at Colne Valley Black Belt Academy.
His instructors were so impressed they named him Boy Ninja Student of the Year.
Eight-year-old Ben now helps raise cash for other children’s heart surgery patients at Leeds General Infirmary, including doing a sponsored karate challenge.
Ben said it was excellent to win. He wanted to know why he had been nominated and for what reason. He is so very unassuming and complacent about the whole thing.
His parents Neil and Sam said that he had multiple holes in his heart but now he was back to taking part in various activities.
His mum was very quick to say how good his school had been and they too have started to raise funds for the Leeds hospital where Ben had his surgery.
They have always been very good about all the time that Ben has off.
Ben’s face was a picture and had plenty of smiles for the camera.
Other nominees in this category, sponsored by accountants V&A Bell Brown LLP, were Susi Sadler and Jason Mather.
Examiner Community Awards 2011: Rachael and Neil Salmon win win Services to Charity Award
DEVOTED couple Neil and Rachael Salmon suffered the most terrible personal tragedy yet it inspired them to do so much day in and day out to help others going through the pain of bereavement.
After losing their son three-year-old Joseph to pneumonia in 2005, Neil and Rachael saw that families need far more support during such tragic circumstances.
Joseph’s name continues with the Joseph Salmon Trust to help families who have lost children pay for funeral and related costs.
Since the charity was registered in 2008, it has helped 30 families.
It began in Huddersfield, but then branched out to include Mirfield and earlier this year announced that it would also provide vital support to families throughout Calderdale too.
They have paid out an average of £2,500 to each family – and there is no other charity like it in the UK.
Rachael, 36, said: "Neil works tirelessly to promote the charity which offers financial support to those who have lost a child.
"He works full-time and is a school governor, active member of our local church and is, of course and not least, a father."
She added: "I don’t feel like I do half as much as he does – he’s really the driving force behind it."
Speaking as she collected her award she added: "It is really lovely to be here surrounded by so many people who have done such fantastic work for others. It brought tears to my eyes."
Neil, 34, added: "The charity is growing all the time. We get calls from people around the country asking for help but we have to focus our efforts on supporting local people."
But the last word from the couple on their award success was remembering their late son Joseph.
Rachael said: "He was a normal, lovely little boy but very special to us."
Businesses interested in sponsorship or anyone who wants more information about the charity, should visit www.thejosephsalmontrust.org.uk
Other nominees in this category, sponsored by the Pennine Manor Hotel, were Richard Jackson and The Charity Dreamgirls.