Doing It For The Kids!
by Robert Veitch
On Friday 28th October a very special event called the Child of Sussex Awards comes to Brighton for the sixth time. Robert Veitch caught up with presenter Anna Bingham, in her More Radio studio to learn about the awards.
This will be the fifth time Anna Bingham has hosted the Child of Sussex Awards, and this year she will be accompanied by More Radio breakfast show presenter, Chris Birks. Like in previous years there will be 12 award winners, with categories ranging from ‘Best Friend’ to ‘Carer’ from ‘Fundraiser to the ‘Courage Award.’ “It’s an incredible night,” said Anna, “tears are flowing, time and again throughout the evening.”
Children shortlisted for awards have short films produced to tell their story and on the night, films of the winning children are shown. Anna beamed as she told me how the children love to dress up in their party clothes. They arrive like VIP’s, shimmering on the red carpet, getting papped in the process – after all, they are the stars of the evening.
Winners have ranged from four to 18 years of age. Some have disabilities, some are fundraisers, some have learning difficulties and some are just wonderful heart-warming stories of ordinary children doing extraordinary things. “They’re all thoroughly deserving winners,” Anna explained. “It’s really good fun to host. I just never know what the children will say when they’re on stage – some are star-struck, others become chatterboxes. It’s lovely to look into the audience and see smiles on the faces of proud parents, along with tears of joy.”
Anna showed me the film on the Child of Sussex website about last year’s winner, Austin Kearley. Austin is a four year old from Haywards Heath with Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome, which means he has severe learning difficulties and very low levels of muscle tone. So touched were two of last year’s sponsors that along with other fundraisers, they financed a trip of a lifetime to the United States for Austin and his family. Anna pointed out the awards could not happen without the generous sponsorship from local companies and Austin’s story shows this event can have a life beyond the awards themselves. And this year Sussex Living Magazine is proud to be supporting the awards as well.
Anna leant back in her chair and said thoughtfully, “It sounds cheesy I know, but the Child of Sussex Awards really are the most amazing, feel good, inspiring evening of the year. The correspondence from parents afterwards is fabulous to read. It makes you realise how awards like these can have such a positive effect on a child’s life.” Anna laughed, “It made me realise I was such a lazy kid by comparison!”
Our time almost up and with Anna due on air she finished enthusiastically, “Please nominate some worthy children, they can’t win without an endorsement, so get on the website and get nominating for the Child of Sussex Awards.”