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Jamie In Volunteer Of The Year Nomination

Congratulations to Jamie Preece, a volunteer at our Sheffield Cycling 4 All project. Jamie has been nominated as one of Britain’s best volunteers – and will soon be attending a prestigious event in the House Of Commons to find out if he is a prizewinner.

He is one of the entrants for the NHS Parliamentary Awards an annual event designed to recognise the best of the National Health Service and those who go above and beyond the call of duty to help people.

Jamie, a communication aid user, lives with his partner Emma and their two children in Rotherham. Jamie has cerebral palsy which has caused speech problems and often struggled to make himself understood until he started using a form of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) six years ago. He now volunteers as a service user representative with the Barnsley Hospital Assistive Technology team, who provide specialised AAC throughout Yorkshire and Humber. His duties involve supporting the team in training speech therapy students, interviewing candidates for jobs, innovative research and developing resources for other service users.

In his spare time, 42-year-old Jamie runs Facebook support groups, continuously sharing his knowledge and experience of Assistive Technology locally, regionally and nationally. He also supports disabled bike riders as a volunteer at Sheffield Cycling 4 All and took part in a fundraising event to raise money for a planned disability festival taking place in Barnsley next year.

Simon Judge, Service Lead for the Assistive Technology Team says “Jamie’s input to our team has been essential over the past three or so years to ensuring that, as a team working with those with the most significant disabilities, we remain focused on the needs of our service users. Jamie is able to travel to work and carry out this role because of his use of his communication aid – which is part of Jamie’s Augmentative and Alternative communication (AAC) strategies that he uses to ensure he can participate in life. Jamie’s deep understanding of the real challenges and also benefits of using AAC help us better deliver our services to meet the real needs of our service users. Jamie also inputs into improving the design of communication aids, both through our service provision, research and development and consultation with the communication aid manufacturers. To our knowledge Jamie is the first service user using AAC in the country to have an honorary role with a team such as ours and he is very much forging the way in developing the role and how we can best include our service users in the delivery of our services.”

Jamie was nominated by Angela Smith, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge. The ceremony will take place in the House Of Commons on Wednesday July 10th.


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