4:17 pm, Thursday, 13th July 2023

Award Ceremony Celebrates Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Grimsby’s very own ‘hero’ teacher Zane Powels MBE made a flying visit back to his hometown to say well done to some of our borough’s most deserving and determined young people.

Zane earned international recognition for his heroic efforts delivering school meals to children in North East Lincolnshire during the COVID lockdowns in 2020. At the time he was assistant headteacher at Western Primary School but has since left the country to teach in Panama City.

However, showing his commitment to supporting children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in North East Lincolnshire, Zane flew back to the UK. He was guest of honour at the Borough’s annual SEND awards, held at Grimsby Town Hall.

Zane said: “It was an honour to be able to present an award this year, but more than that it was a privilege and humbling to share the room with such selfless, talented, dedicated, and hardworking people in our communities who represent and support those with SEND. Those people are the best of us.”

Zane was joined by other guests including The Worshipful The Mayor of the Borough of North East Lincolnshire, Cllr Ian Lindley, James Elliot ‘the Canoe River Cleaner’, Matthew Head, small business owner of the well-loved Globe Café, and Harry Clifton from Grimsby Town Football Club. Together they congratulated everyone and presented the winners with their awards.

Mr Mayor said: “This wonderful evening shone the spotlight on many young people who are happy, determined and driven to succeed in many, many ways. They set an example that we should all follow. I would also like to recognise their parents, carers and those professionals – many who are here today – who work extremely hard with these young people and are integral to their success both now and in the future. Well done to everyone who has been involved.”

Awards representing children and young people included the Student Personality of the Year Award, Community Award and Creative Arts Award. Adults and organisations were recognised by awards including SEND Friendly Business or Organisation, Special Recognition, and Inspiring Teacher.

Organisers from North East Lincolnshire Council’s Children’s Services were delighted with the interest in the awards this year- there were over 180 nominations representing an increase of 28 percent from last year.

The audience was also thrilled to be there, with one saying: “It was good to see the young people accepting their awards and how proud their families and friends were.”

Another said: “It was lovely to hear about all these inspirational people and I particularly enjoyed seeing the video footage. It was such a fabulous celebration of all things wonderful!”

Give a spotlight to someone you know and show your support for SEND by submitting a nomination for the 2024 SEND Awards that launch later this year.

See the video’s and pictures from the ceremony NELC SEND Local Offer | SEND Awards (nelincs.gov.uk).