Bethany Eason, aged 16 and a cochlear implant user, was nominated by her Head Teacher for the Rotary Club Young Citizen Award because he was impressed by her tireless work for the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS).
She had also been involved in campaigning against budgetry cuts to education, changes to disability benefits as well as equality in healthcare for young deaf people. Bethany is also an accomplished ballet dancer and received her award live on BBC News on Saturday at a prestigious award ceremony at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre. She immediately dontated the £500 to NDCS.
We’ve featured Bethany’s work on The Limping Chicken before too. Here when she was interviewed live on Channel 4 and when she wrote for us about the launch of a campaign focused on healthcare for deaf children.
“Three years ago never did I think that I would be standing on stage receiving the most prestigious award in front of a very large audience and live on the BBC in Great Britain and Ireland.” Bethany said after winning her award.
“I am a very passionate campaigner for deaf people and aim to spread the word on difficulties faced at home, at school and in the community. There are 45,000 deaf children in the UK and their issues need to be addressed. Growing up and becoming aware of my deafness has been a very tiring and bumpy ride and there has been times where I have just wanted to give up. But no. I carried on and look where it has got me!”
Bethany considers herself a changed person after being bullied because of her deafness and then having to change school. It was this change of environment and break from a turbulent past that helped her to grow in confidence and begin campaigning.
“It’s absolutely phenomenal and the £500 cheque that I received is going to The National Deaf Children’s Society. I am still on cloud nine after receiving the award in Birmingham on Saturday. It was amazing to meet inspirational people which has also motivated me to do much more and I have many new ideas to help others, especially deaf youngsters. The journey continues – watch this space!”
By Andy Palmer, Deputy Editor. Andy also volunteers for the Peterborough and District Deaf Children’s Society on their website, deaf football coaching and other events. Contact him on twitter @LC_AndyP
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
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