Yeovil student wins volunteering award

A YEOVIL student is celebrating after winning the Communication Champion Award at the 2013/2014 Shine a Light Awards for his selfless volunteering to raise awareness of speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

Shane Dangar, 20, who has Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD and is in his first year of a media course at university, inspired judges for his work on the Raising Your Game project led by Mencap in partnership with I CAN and Nacro.

The Awards, held in London, honour individuals, teams, campaigns, communication friendly settings and communities that have excelled in their support of children and young people’s communication.

The Raising Your Game project is for young people aged between 14 and 25, with a learning disability or communication difficulty, who have been in trouble with the police or are at risk of getting into trouble. After becoming involved in the project, Shane has delivered 10 communication awareness-training workshops on a completely voluntary basis to a range of groups including Housing Associations, youth services, Job Centre and The National Trust.

Shane Dangar said: “I am grateful for the recognition received at the Shine a Light Awards by winning the Communication Champion Award. I didn’t expect it and I am just doing my bit to help. I am lucky enough to have the confidence and words to speak out for all those with communication difficulties who struggle to be heard. I see myself as providing a service to people who don’t understand SLCN. I’m trying to spread my message to as many people as possible, I’m currently studying media at university and this summer will be working with local youth groups to create disability awareness films.”

Anne Fox, Director of The Communication Trust and a Shine a Light judge, said: “Congratulations to Shane for winning this award. He is an incredible role model who has overcome obstacles to make a big difference to other children and young people with SLCN. Shane uses humour and honesty to explain his difficulties to others and is overcoming his fears of new situations and uncertainties. His voluntary work is challenging perceptions of SLCN and helping people to look at communication difficulties in a different way.”

Chris Hall, Managing Director of Pearson Assessment and Shine a Light Award Judge, said: “It gives me great pleasure to congratulate Shane for winning this award. We have been blown away by this year’s nominations and seen some truly inspiring examples of work being carried out to support children and young people with SLCN. With the awards now in their third year, we are excited to have helped over 90 individuals and teams shout about their work and go on to inspire others.”

In addition to the work Shane is undertaking with the Raising Your Game project, he is also a long-term member of a local youth group that supports young people with learning disabilities and SLCN.

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