My Nomination for a National Diversity Award 2019   Leave a comment

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Whilst browsing on Twitter one day I came across a tweet from National Diversity Awards saying congratulations on my nomination as a Positive Role Model for disability.

This was somewhat of a shock to me as a) the first I had heard of it (it turns out the email notifying me of my nomination had gone unnoticed to my junk folder) and b) I have never considered myself as a role model for disability. Yes I have a disability but I just get on with my life, making adjustments to enable myself to continue doing as much as I can.

Due to the email being in my junk folder, I was unable to confirm my acceptance until a month or so later, which meant others could not support my nomination and I could not promote it. Anyway I eventually found the email after contacting the people at National Diversity Awards and therefore was able to let people know about my nomination and options for supporting my nomination.

At the point in time of writing this blog I have had 16 nominations in total.

It is a little confusing because to ‘vote’ for me, people have to add their own nomination saying why they think I deserve an award. However, I have been told it is a fairly easy process to do.

Thank you to those who have taken the time to support my nomination.

As I have never considered myself to be a role model for disability, I have read all the nomination statements and now understand a bit more about why people might consider me to be a role model – it is in fact because I continue to try to volunteer and support others despite my personal challenges.

I thought some readers might also like to read the supporting statements. You will see that the names of those providing supporting statements do not appear, meaning I don’t know who has done so (although I have worked out a few because of the words written, or because people have told me they have written a statement).

Supporting Statements – new ones first

2019-05-11 09:03:49
Penny Webb is the epitome of a ‘can do’ attitude. A brave and wise woman with a real gift for helping others, often putting aside own personal challenges that would hamper most of us. Penny lends her voice and speaks up for many that struggle to be heard. She has championed many causes, especially in Early years sector. Through her work as a volunteer and as a Foster parent Penny has touched many lives. As a childminder she has helped nurture our next generation. As a colleague and friend she has shared her time, knowledge and passion for making a difference, with warmth and grace. Penny really is a remarkable lady.

2019-05-08 17:11:03
Penny has always been passionate about speaking up for children and childcare since I’ve had the pleasure to know her these last ten years or so. She is now speaking up for the disabled also. I didn’t realise until quite recently that she had dyslexia but I have followed the progress of her diabetes and the terrible struggle she has had trying to get the pain relief and medication balanced so that she can try to continue in her voluntary roles. Penny never fails to amaze me; she is determined to carry on as much as she can, still going to conferences (often struggling through both pain and travel problems to do so) and making sure she is heard when speaking up for rights of others. She is definitely a positive role model!

2019-05-08 10:03:02
Penny has been a large influence in my life since I have known her – she has always been encouraging in relation to my work in Early Years and has supported me and promoted me at every opportunity. In regards to her \’disability\’ – I find her totally amazing – I am not going to say she \’copes\’ as this is too mild for the determination she displays. I have followed her story since she first became unwell, and as I also suffer from a condition that causes me tiredness and pain – but reading Penny\’s updates and speaking with her I feel total admiration and she demonstrates exactly what you can get done if you put your mind to it. Penny you are one amazing, inspirational, knowledgeable, respected and beautiful lady!

2019-05-08 07:34:23
Penny is a very humble lady and real inspiration to everyone she meets or who \’talk\’ to her via her Social Media and Blogs. She is passionate about children and the role of Registered Childminders and has spent many years campaigning for what she feels children and their childminders need. She is dedicated to trying to change policy that she feels is unjust and tenacious in her approach to campaigning and spreading the word. Personally Penny has huge challenges to face on a daily basis and uses her personal skills of dedication and determination as she had to when she learning to walk again. She uses her personal situation to challenge where care for disabled people is not what it should be- from lack of help when travelling by train to challenging unjust parking fines for disabled people. She pushes through pain barriers to carry on her public speaking and campaigning and has been a volunteer for many organisations giving her valuable time to write articles, speak to audiences and meet with organisations to discuss her ideas for improvements to legislation and practice. Childminding UK are honoured that Penny has chosen to support us as a very valued volunteer and we are grateful for her advice, humour and good sense.

2019-05-07 11:22:47
I have known Penny for over a decade. She has been an avid campaigner for children and Childcare in England. What always struck me though was how she travelled all over the country, spoke at and arranged conferences, ran a fantastic Childcare provision etc. amidst certain discomfort and viable hinderances. And she never complains. She is positive, uplifting and always puts others care and needs before her own. She has never used her illness/dyslexia as a crutch, but rather used them to highlight how much one can still do, even amidst physical trials and circumstances. Penny is proof that even amidst debilitating sickness and disability, one can still stand up, and stand out, and make a difference. I heartily nominate this strong and community focussed woman and dear friend.

2019-05-07 11:20:16
Penny has been an inspiration to many people working in Early Years and has always been a passionate advocate for children and their families, particularly those disadvantaged in some way. I her current situation of poor health Penny has continued this advocacy through writing and though social media and has now extended her advocacy to disability and all the issues that brings for people. I suppose one of Penny\’s strongest qualities is resilience, demonstrated by her refusal to give up on the things that are important to her, even when the chips are down. A very strong and determined lady with a heart of gold.

2019-05-06 14:14:07
Penny is inspirational. Despite her many health issues, she keeps going and overcomes so many problems while at the same time fights for the rights of others. This lady makes a difference in so many ways. The rest of us \’moan\’ to the wrong people – friends, relatives etc. Penny goes straight to the top and makes sure she\’s listened to

2019-05-05 19:33:16
Penny is a huge inspiration not only to many people across the country but to myself. Since the first time I met this wonderful lady I have grown in confidence as a person and as a childcare provider. Penny’s knowledge and understanding of children and young people is second to none. She doesn’t claim to know everything but will go out of her way to help anyone who needs it. Penny has shown an interest in my personal journey and makes me believe that no matter what life throws at you, You are capable of anything. She believes that communication and networking is the way forward and I can honestly say that from Penny’s networking and help I have gained in confidence to contact people without worry and communicate with others passionately about what I believe in too. From knowing Penny I have built in confidence and am currently doing a degree in working with children and young people to enable me to build a business to help children which have fallen into the gap of state schools and forced home education because of the lack of government funding to help all children in their educational years

2019-05-05 17:20:18
Over the years I have known Penny I have been struck by her professional knowledge and drive. This has taken a knock since she has become so poorly, but it hasn’t stopped her being an outspoken advocate for the youngest children. She is a true role model in overcoming disability and illness to maintain her campaigning. It hasn’t been easy for her, but the strength of her voice in the National battle remains constant and strong

2019-05-03 17:41:37
Despite having a disability. Penny is still very activity within the Early Years Community. She blogs and shares stories to highlight positive Early Years and parenting practice. Penny, can be seen actively supporting daily, friends and colleagues. Penny, wishes that she could do more. However, Penny does so Much even with her disability and this has a positive impact on others.

2019-05-01 06:09:02
I have known Penny for twenty five years and have witnessed her continued determination to overcome her personal difficulties to speak up and be an advocate for children and to raise awareness of any issues that need addressing to help improve the lives of others. Her unceasing passion for the youngest people in our society led to her being awarded a British Empire Medal. She gets her views out there in many ways, pushing herself through her barriers to get her voice heard by as many as possible and I\’m certain she has made a difference. She is inspiring, she certainly has become a valued and respected voice for Early Years and now also, she is making a difference for all others and she will never stop doing that whatever life throws at her. Penny very much deserves this recognition as A Positive Role Model, I am so very proud of her achievements so far.

2019-04-30 21:39:21
Penny is an absolute inspiration to everyone. She has battled with very difficult and painful health problems, but she is always there for others and puts their needs before her own. She is a fantastic influencer through her writing and representing the community. She’s a perfect role model for those who want to succeed through determination, empathy and compassion. She deserves a Damehood.

2019-04-30 21:06:12
Penny has been an amazing Early Years advocate changing the lives of little ones, is so respected by the sector. Since I\’ll health has struggled to keep going being so positive in the light of adversity. Penny is so deserving of this award. A shining example to us all. Disability may have slowed Penny down but shes definately not out!

2019-04-30 19:44:08
Penny you are an inspiration. I\\\’ve read your blogs for years and also followed your journey these last few years. The very fact that you still volunteer to do all you do for our children is brilliant enough, but to do it in the face of such adversity is just amazing. Thank you

2019-04-30 19:14:10
Penny is an inspiration to all of us

2019-03-31 23:33:19
Penny Webb was awarded the British Empire Medal following her nomination by the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) for her longstanding commitment to making a difference in the life of children for about 30 years. She has continued to fight for children\\\’s rights and for children\\\’s voices to be heard despite being severely challenged physically as a result of Diabetes Radiculopathy, and her lifelong struggle with dyslexia. Recently she has been quite ill finding it hard to walk and balance, and have often been in severe pain. I can think of no one more deserving than this award as Penny Webb.

Please Note

My aim for this blog is not to blow my own trumpet (although I am honoured by all the lovely things people have said), it is to raise awareness that actually anyone and everyone can be a role model just by doing what they do, and overcoming their own barriers. I know so many people who just do this every day and think nothing of it. However as shown by my supporting statements people notice and people are inspired and grateful.

In my early years work, being a positive role model for the children is something I (and many others) do day in, day out as it is so important children develop positive attitudes and dispositions – and have good self-esteem and resilience. So maybe it is because it is second nature to me, I don’t even think about it.

It would be great if others felt inclined to add a supporting statement because I feel this would raise awareness not only of challenges people with disabilities face and the importance of doing what you can, but also about the important work early years practitioners do as ‘unsung heroes’ every day as role models for the children they care for.

For me being shortlisted would be a double edge straw because it would mean more opportunities to raise awareness – but it would also force me to overcome a personal challenge as attending an awards night will take me way out of my comfort zone and would present new challenges to physically get there and to successful manage the evening. Plus I really do not like drawing attention to myself as I lack confidence and prefer just to draw attention to the causes I campaign and volunteer for.

If you wish to support my nomination by providing your own supporting statement, you can do so by clicking on this link

And YES I know my photo is the wrong way round – I could claim I did that on purpose to make it stand out but that would not be honest! Truth is I could not work out how to turn it round!


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