Prestigious award win scooped by clinicians and patient team
A medical team at St George’s Hospital and a profoundly deaf teen are the first ever winners of an award in memory of a campaigning mum.
St George’s Auditory Cochlear Implant Service and 17-year-old Lauren Press both scooped a prestigious Claire Campbell Award for Outstanding Achievement.
The awards, launched this year, are named after Claire Campbell whose two youngest children Alice and Ollie are profoundly deaf.
The ‘dedicated and passionate’ mum-of-three campaigned for deaf children to have the same opportunities in life as their hearing peers.
A cochlear implant is a small electronic device that can help to provide a sense of sound to a profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing person.
Mr David Selvadurai, Dhaval Mehta and Tash Gerrow make up the hospital’s implant service team which is instrumental in changing the lives of deaf children and young people.
The team were nominated by the family of a deaf teenager who has been supported by them for more than a decade.
They said: “We are honoured and touched to receive the first Claire Campbell Outstanding Achievement Award. Claire’s work in supporting and advocating on behalf of children with hearing loss was truly inspirational and she set a wonderful example for us all to follow.
“Cochlear Implantation can truly impact the life of patients and their families, and this award is testament to that success. It is a privilege for our team to work in this area and we are hugely grateful for this award.”
Lauren was just six months old when she joined a specialist programme to learn to listen and speak and at the age of two she was given a cochlear implant before a second aged six.
The now 17-year-old, from north London, is now a dedicated champion for helping deaf children from a young age and raising more awareness about deafness.
The student, who is studying A-Levels in English Language, Psychology and Philosophy, was nominated by her school.
She said: “My motivation to speak publicly comes from my belief in the importance of early educational intervention for deaf children so that they can fulfil their full potential at school and in life.
“I feel privileged and honoured to have won this award, especially considering the amazing work others in this category have done to raise awareness for deaf children and young adults.”
Claire Campbell was also a committed volunteer and ambassador of Auditory Verbal UK (AVUK) until her death in November 2022.
Anita Grover, AVUK chief executive, said: “Congratulations to the winners of the first Claire Campbell Outstanding Achievement Awards and to all the finalists for their achievements.
Claire was unwavering in her support for deaf children and their families and it was wonderful to see the quality of nominations that we received for these first Awards in her memory.”
Claire’s widower paid tribute to his late wife saying she was ‘passionately determined’ that being born deaf would not stop their children from ‘achieving everything they were capable of’.
He added: “Lauren demonstrates this everyday as well as giving back by supporting other deaf children to achieve their best and educate hearing people to have a greater understanding of deafness and what deaf young people can achieve with early and effective support.”