The work of DanceSyndrome Founder Jen Blackwell was celebrated with yet another award last week. Jen was announced as the winner of the Inclusion Award at the National Activity Providers Association (NAPA) Awards in an online awards ceremony held on Friday 1st October.
DanceSyndrome’s this inclusive approach was recognised by NAPA, a charity which supports the not-for-profit sector to prioritise wellbeing by promoting activity, art and engagement. The annual NAPA Awards celebrate the wealth of outstanding contributions that third-sector organisations make to their communities. Jen was the winner in the Inclusion Award category which recognises an individual, team or organisation whose activities demonstrate a commitment to inclusive practices, making individuals feel that they belong, can be their authentic selves and are given a voice.
Jen said “I’m honoured to have been chosen as the winner of the Inclusion Award category. Being nominated for this award shows that people with learning disabilities can do amazing things with their lives if given a chance. Dancing is my life, I am passionate about dance and about supporting people like me to have opportunities in the dance world.”
This award is one of several accolades that have recognised the importance of the work done by the DanceSyndrome team, including a Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award and the Queens Award for Voluntary Services in 2019. On Friday 25th September 2021, Jen was also presented with an EVA Star Award at the EVA awards at Blackpool Winter Gardens . In 2020, the EVAs celebrate it’s tenth year with a lockdown celebration of ten EVA Stars. These were ladies who have won EVA awards in the past and have really stood out as superstars. Jen won the Inspirational Woman of the Year Award at the 2015 EVAs and was thrilled to be recognised again as an EVA Star in 2020. She was finally presented with this award at the celebration event, where she also performed with her DanceSyndrome colleagues, receiving a standing ovation!
DanceSyndrome have certainly made a successful return to post-lockdown activities!