Brendan McConville has been fighting for Conductive Education in his native Northern Ireland for many years now. He established the Buddy Bear Trust in 1988 in Dungannon, and opened the Buddy Bear School in 1993.
As stated on the website:
The Buddy Bear Trust established local support cross community committees all over Ireland to raise awareness to the need of the children, to raise funds and to focus attention on the need to improve the provision for children with cerebral palsy both North and South of Ireland.
He goes forward as a Regional Winner for the ITV Fundraiser Award.
Brendan was announced as the UTV Regional Winner and is now a finalist for the ITV Fundraiser Award at this year’s Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards – the UK’s biggest event for unsung heroes.
It is great to see his hard work and constant struggle acknowledged and I wish him good luck.
In California an award has been established to recognise the endeavours and successes of women entrpreneurs in the State and the winners for 2010 are listed at
Included on this list are the founders of the Avalon Academy in Burlingame, California. This centre was set up in 2005 by Annie Noolan, and Lynette Mullins, parents of children with cerebral palsy with Hungarian conductor Kinga Czengi.
More information about the centre can be found at
Congratulations to all concerned!
Over the years I have got know the names of those who have become involved in Conductive Education in a variety of ways. For example, some are conductors, some parents, some professionals, and some who now ‘use the principles’ of Conductive Education.
In Hong Kong I met a lady whose name I had known for many years. I knew that she had gone to Budapest with her child and then become actively involved in trying to bring CE to Australia – Claire Cotter, parent, occupational therapist and Honorary Conductor.
Claire gave me two videos of historical interest, videos of the 1991 Australian conference containing presentations by Maria Hari, amongst others. These are now part of my growing library and very important additions.
Thank you very much, Claire, these will be preserved and made available to others in the future.
Whilst preparing this blog I came across a news item about her reporting an award she had received from the Victorian State Government in Australia for her work helping “those with disabilities participate in their communities”.
Claire is the first recipient of the Victorian Disability Sector’s leadership award for all her hard work.
She founded the Cerebral Palsy Education Center, which is staffed by physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and receives input from a conductor.
Hearty congratulations, Claire, and thanks again for the videos.
It was lovely to meet you!
Another award for someone in Conductive Education was announced today. Six years ago the Guardian public service awards were created and are run in conjunction with Hays Specialist Recruitment. The awards are for all organisations involved in public services including those in the public, private or voluntary sector. For further information see:
The Award for 2009 has been given to Joe Mawdsley, founder of the Rainbow House Centre in Cheshire. The article states:
In April 2001, four months after her five and three year old sons’ were diagnosed with the rare genetic life-threatening disorder (CDG), Mawdsley created Rainbow House, a self-help group delivering conductive educational and holistic therapies to six children including her own boys. Mawdsley funded the centre for two years using her disability allowance. In 2003, Rainbow House became a charity tending 112 youngsters weekly, in Chorley, its East Lancashire and Cumbria branches.
Officially opened by Princess Royal in 2007, the emotional, physical and behavioural rehabilitation centre now treats 187 children aged from 7 months to 21 years old. And there is a two year waiting list. It employs 32 staff plus an on-site physiotherapist and provides tailor-made treatments from 7.30 am until 6.30pm for 50 weeks a year. Last year, in Mawdsley’s drive to raise £1m annual maintenance, this indefatigable mother-of-three addressed 85 charitable groups nationwide and organised countless communal events.
Despite living with a ticking time-bomb, Mawdsley remains positive stating: “My boys shouldn’t sit up, talk, feed, toilet themselves or walk – albeit with crutches – but they do . They were fine at birth. But at 13 months, Tom, now 11, was discharged from hospital to die. At 4 months, Will, now 13, stopped supporting his head. Looking into his eyes, it seemed his light had been switched off -nothing there. I’ve been desperate and suicidal. Occupational and physiotherapies proved ineffective, so I arrived with 21 months old Will, floppy like jelly in my arms, at Merseyside Association for Conductive Education. Three months later he crawled, sat and uttered his first word- ‘No!'”
I received an email re the exact date that Marion Fang was made an honorary conductor and it set me thinking about honorary conductors in general. In the process I remembered having seen a list on the Internet in the past and have managed to track it down on the website of the 5th World Congress of Conductive Education, 2007.
Here it states the criteria for the award.
The College Senate of the International Peto Institute gives the Honorary Conductor Award. It was established in 1990 to recognise the work of non-conductors in the field, which is well known both in the homeland and internationally. Nominations are initiated by leading persons and are submitted to the International Peto Association Executive Committee. The IPA Nominating Committee considers the person’s contribution to the development of Conductive Education and is deserving of wider and more formal recognition. Final nomination is submitted to the Senate of the International Peto College who are authorized to make a final decision about acceptance.
Included is a list of the recipients from 1990-2007 which includes Marion Fang who received her award in 2001 at the World Congress held in London.The site also has a list of all the World Congresses with their dates and venues.
No doubt nominations to receive the award at the Congress in Hong Kong, 2010 will be requested soon, if they have not been already.
More recognition of Conductive Education has been recorded as a UK centre receives two awards.
To quote from the Wirral Globe:
Wirral charity Stick ‘n’ Step – which helps children with cerebral palsy – has won two awards for its work.
The Birkenhead-based group, which provides conductive therapy that helps the youngsters walk and communicate, picked up the Spirit of Merseyside Children and young people’s award and the Project of the year award.
It is nice to be able to report some good news.
I hope to maintain a list of such events which I will post on this blog.
Yesterday I attended the Annual Awards Ceremony at the National Institute of Conductive Education. It was strange to go back after recent events, but great to be able to congratulate the ‘new conductors’, who I had helped in their research for essays and dissertations .
The programme of the day included several awards, celebrating a variety of achievements:
Qualified Conductor Status on the final year student conductors. There were four this year and they all have jobs to go to in North America and Germany. One was unable to attend, as he had already started work.
The Founder’s Award is given by Andrew Sutton in recognition of vital help and support given to the Foundation for Conductive Education, (especially in its early years) in particular, and Conductive Education in general. Three people who had to be annoymous for a variety of reasons, were remembered this year and Andrew intimated that these may be the last from the past.
Volunteer’s Award is given to an individual who has worked tirelessly for the organisation helping with fundraising, marketing and administration. This year it went to Pauline Hartley who has given her time freely in such ways for seven years.
Long Service Awards are given to staff who have worked for five, ten and fifteen years. Three people had a five year award this year – a conductor, a conductive assistant, and the current Chief Executive.
Speeches were made, photos taken, bucks fizz drunk, and a good time had by all.