Jan 2020 Portsmouth News

A tireless fundraiser will receive a British Citizen Award to recognise her hard work setting up a popular group for deaf children. Lindsey Wilmshurst, from Portsmouth, will be honoured for her services to healthcare at a medal presentation at the House of Lords. Lindsey is deaf and uses a cochlear implant to access sound. Her son, Riley, who is also deaf and a few years ago he was isolated at school and experienced bullying.  In 2017, Lindsey researched support groups for deaf young people in the area and found there was no such group.

Lindsey WilmshurstLindsey Wilmshurst from Portsmouth is to be honoured with a British Citizen Award for her services to healthcare

She decided to set one up herself to see if she could find some other children in the area that would benefit from this, and set about fundraising, obtaining lottery funding and contacting businesses for support.  This was the beginning of Saturday Kids Zone at Portsmouth Deaf Centre in Arundel Street. On the first day more than 20 children and their families, many who had never interacted with another deaf child, turned up and now in just two years this has grown to 50 families regularly attending.

Lindsey has tirelessly fundraised to create an environment where the children can be themselves and comfortable around other children that are going through the same journey as they are, making new friends and building confidence.  There is no judgement within the club and the children can interact by either signing, non-verbal or speaking.  

The British Citizen Award, in partnership with One Stop, is now in its fifth year and recognises exceptional individuals who positively impact their communities throughout the country. 

Lindsey said: ‘I feel shocked and humbled to receive the award. I am feeling every emotion under the sun to have such incredible recognition, and my heart swells with pride for all my Saturday Kids Zone members.’ 

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