Belfast Trust employee wins award for deafened people work


James Newell, a Social Work Assistant with Belfast Trust Sensory Support Team has been named as the 2016 recipient of the Heather Jackson Award.

This is awarded jointly by the National Association of Deafened People (NADP), Signature, and Hearing Link.
The Heather Jackson Award is awarded annually to a deafened person who has made a significant contribution to the improvement of the welfare and opportunity of deafened people. It has been instituted in memory of the National Association of Deafened People Chairperson Heather Jackson who passed away in 2007.
James is the ninth recipient of the award and the first from Northern Ireland. He was nominated by Hearing Link in recognition of his volunteer work with the organisation.
A cochlear implant user, he plays a huge role in supporting deafened people across Northern Ireland both in his work with Belfast Trust and as a volunteer with Hearing Link.
For the past 12-years, James has worked full-time as a Social Work Assistant for the Sensory Support Team in Belfast Trust and is a valued and respected member of the team.
He has been instrumental in developing a partnership between Belfast Trust Sensory Support Team and Hearing Link which has been of benefit to the Trust's service users.
Dr Lorraine Gailey, Chief Executive of Hearing Link, presented the award to James at an event held in Belfast on 5 October 2016 which was attended by staff from the Sensory Support Team Bernie Kelly, Service manager, Physical and sensory disability services and Jane McMillan, Assistant service manager.
Dr Gailey said, “James gives to others freely and generously in all areas of his life. He’s an incredibly positive role model for others, helping them to make changes that are lasting and beneficial.”
James said on receiving the award, “I’m very pleased to have been acknowledged for doing something that I love — bringing laughter back into people’s lives who have forgotten how to laugh due to their hearing loss.”