Sophie Tickle and the DanceSyndrome Team with the Chief Nurses Award

Sophie Tickle and the DanceSyndrome Team with the Chief Nurses AwardSophie Tickle, Artistic Director at DanceSyndrome, was taken by surprise yesterday by her colleagues when they awarded her with a prestigious Chief Nurses Award in what she expected to be a regular dance session.

Sophie was all set to begin a regular DanceSyndrome session at Plungington Community Centre in Preston on Wednesday 30th November when DanceSyndrome Managing Director Julie Nicholson interrupted the session to make the surprise announcement that Sophie was the recipient of a prestigious Silver Chief Nurse Award. Deborah Sturdy, Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care in England at the Department for Health and Social Care, connected with the group via video link from London to congratulate Sophie.

The Chief Nurse Awards were developed by the Department for Health and Social Care to acknowledge and reward the significant and outstanding contribution made by social care workers and nurses in England. They celebrate nurses and care workers who go above and beyond their everyday roles to provide excellent care, leadership, and inspiration to their colleagues and patients and those who use services.

Sophie has been involved with DanceSyndrome for 10 years, playing a fundamental role in developing the inclusive ethos that runs throughout all aspects of the charity. Wellbeing, safety, equity, and individuals’ happiness are at the core of everything she does. Sophie co-designed DanceSyndrome’s exclusive Dance By Example leadership training course which is primarily aimed at people with learning disabilities. It is a unique, accredited qualification which teaches people with learning disabilities the skills needed to co-lead their own inclusive dance workshops. This co-delivery model which she has developed puts people with learning disabilities at the centre of all DanceSyndrome work, treating every single person as an individual, empowering them to be recognised citizens in central leadership roles, as well as making them feel included, given a voice and supported to follow their dreams. This is not something that happens often in society and DanceSyndrome is pioneering new inclusive approaches to all aspects of life which is as a result of Sophie’s hard work, leadership, and personal values. This approach has also been recognised recently by Arts Council England who chose DanceSyndrome as one of their National Portfolio Organisations for 2023-26 because of this unique methodology.

DanceSyndrome Managing Director Julie Nicholson said “Sophie has played a transformational role at DanceSyndrome and to enhance the lives of people with learning disabilities and is a very worthy recipient of this award. She creates time and space to ensure every single person can develop to become the best version of themselves. She is extremely patient and exudes kindness. All of these exceptional qualities mean that individuals with learning disabilities feel included, empowered, respected, connected and enabled to be creative – not just in dance but in all aspects of their lives.”

Speaking about the award, Sophie said “I’m so surprised to have received this award today and I’m incredibly grateful to have my work recognised in this way. The Chief Nurses Award celebrates the remarkable work that happens in the Adult Social Care sector and I feel very privileged to have been acknowledged as someone who is making a contribution to that because it is something very close to my heart.”

If you would like to support the life-changing work that Sophie does with DanceSyndrome, now is a great time to do that as The Big Give are currently doubling donations through match-finding. You can donate until 12pm on Tuesday 6th December on the Big Give website.

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