This summer, Animal Days Out (ADO) presented their first ever Achievement Awards since joining the scheme earlier this year. ADO provides recreational, educational and therapeutic opportunities for young people with animals, wildlife and nature. Their sessions are geared to both mainstream and Special Educational Needs (SEN) members.
Daniel Birmingham, aged 13, was chosen to be one of the first Achievement Award winners at the organisation. Dan has been attending the afterschool club for over three years and became an ADO mentor two years ago. As a mentor, he plays an important role in helping the staff to lead the group through various activities and programmes. Dan now frequently assists at the ADO holiday clubs, often attending from 8am-6pm because he enjoys being part of the team and having responsibilities.
The primary reason for Dan receiving the club’s first ever Jack Petchey Achievement Award is because of how helpful and welcoming the younger children find him. ADO have many children accessing their services who may only attend for one day, but that is usually all it takes for them to make a new friend in Dan. During the peer nomination process, he received the most amount of votes. Reasons as to why Dan should win the award included:
"I find Dan the most helpful person, because when I got bitten by an ant Dan looked after me and took me to the leader"
"Dan is silly and makes me laugh when I feel sad, which helps me feel happy"
"Dan is helpful because he made me feel better when I fell over."
On top of Dan’s achievements and progression within ADO, he also showed a caring and supportive side of himself, when he found out that one of the members of staff had lost a family member due to mental illness. Dan felt a great deal of empathy for them and organised a secret charity bike ride in their honour. He cycled for 20 miles, raising over £400 for a mental health charity! For this, he was also nominated by a staff member for the Pride of Britain Award.
Daniel decided to spend his £250 Jack Petchey Achievement Award on a wide selection of gardening tools for ADO’s mainstream and SEN members to use during conservation activities in the local area.
Congratulations on your award Dan and keep up the good work!
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