Britain's Children's Champion's Award

Co-founder of AchieveNI and member of the Reid Family - Mandy McDermott writes:

A major and pivotal moment in my personal and professional life was receiving, along with other members of my family; Julie, Joanne, David and Sheree, the National Award as Britain's Children's Champion. This moment was a public and very privileged acknowledgement of the work my family members and I have accomplished despite many difficulties and setbacks.

We felt very proud as a family to be invited to a star-studded gala in 10 Downing Street to be celebrated and honoured by celebrities including Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, Leona Lewis, Westlife, Frank Lampard, Dame Kelly Holmes and many more.

Receiving this award has affirmed our resolve to work with a group of people who have experienced a potentially crippling life-sentence. Personally and professionally, with the support of our families and friends, we are passionately driven and committed to supporting children and adults on their journey into well being.

AchieveNI is currently developing a ‘best practice policy in delivering effective services’ to adults and children whose lives have been hugely impacted in many aspects of living by experience of childhood trauma. Our vision in delivering this service will be energised by our privileged experienced of those survivors who choose to live and thrive in family, community and society rather than be labelled ‘victim’.

On a personal note, we, would particularly like to thank the following people for accompanying us with their wise words and whole-hearted encouragement: our immediate and extended family members, in particular our husbands / wife and beloved children, our Dearest Mother, beloved Uncle William 'Plum' Smith, dear friends, wonderful colleague Cathy Bell Chairperson CCYP BACP, Lynda Wilson Director Barnardos NI, Norman Porter Barnardos NI and many others who have supported us in different ways. Thank you

“A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
Maya Angelou