Lauren Press and St George’s Hospital Auditory Implant Service have been announced as the winners of the first Claire Campbell Awards for Outstanding Achievement.

The awards were launched in memory of Claire, mother of two deaf children and passionate advocate for deaf young people, who died in November 2022.

Claire was a committed ambassador of Auditory Verbal UK, as its Chair of Trustees from 2013 to 2020, right up until her death. Claire was, and remains, a source of inspiration to many families with deaf children across the UK and internationally.

In memory of the dedication and compassionate support Claire gave to others - together with her family - these awards recognise the outstanding achievements of deaf children and young people and the adults who have gone above and beyond to support them. 

The finalists for the awards were announced in early November 2023, with strong nominations for children, young people and adults from across the UK who are going above and beyond to ensure more deaf children have the same opportunities as their hearing peers.


Lauren Press - winner of the Children and Young Person Outstanding Achievement Award


This award recognises a deaf child or young person with hearing loss who has gone above and beyond to demonstrate that deaf children can achieve their potential.


Lauren Press (17) was diagnosed as profoundly deaf soon after she was born, she had her first cochlear implant aged two and her second at six. She joined AVUK’s specialist family programme aged six months to learn to listen and speak with Auditory Verbal therapy. At three she graduated with spoken language skills at a level expected for a hearing child of her age.

Lauren is now thriving with the same opportunities in life as her hearing peers, studying A Levels in English Language, Psychology and Philosophy at Haberdashers Girls’ School who nominated her for the award. The nomination said: “She has a great deal of drive and motivation and is dedicated to helping others understand deafness and to help improve outcomes for all deaf children. She has a great passion for educating others about deafness and is also mentor for a deaf boy in the junior school who she is supporting in his transition into secondary school.”

On receiving her award Lauren said: “I feel privileged and honoured to have won this award, especially considering the amazing work others in this category have done to raise awareness for deaf children and young adults. My motivation to speak publicly comes from my belief in the importance of early educational intervention for deaf children so that they can fulfil their full potential at school and in life”

Proving what deaf children can achieve alongside backing calls for more support for deaf children to achieve their potential, Lauren has spoken at both the House of Commons in Westminster and London City Hall highlighting the importance of early support for deaf children. She has also spoken about deafness at school assemblies and supported fundraising efforts.


St George’s Hospital -  Adult Outstanding Achievement Award

This award recognises an adult, such as a professional, teacher, parent or caregiver, who, like Claire, has gone above and beyond to support a deaf child or children to achieve their potential and/or challenge the perceptions of what deaf children can achieve.

St George’s Hospital Auditory Implant Service in Tooting, South London, have been  instrumental in making a lasting and significant change to so many deaf children and young people. The service, which assesses patients, conducts cochlear implant surgery and provides post operative support and long-term management and support,  have directly supported deaf babies and children, challenged expectations and gone above and beyond with their care and kindness.

The award judges heard that the team are always smiling, supportive and dedicated in often difficult and uncertain circumstances. The nomination, which specifically highlighted the work of David Selvadurai, Dhaval Mehta and Tash Gerrow, was made by the family of a deaf teenager who has been supported by the team for more than a decade. The nomination said: “We applaud each and every one of them for going above and beyond in positively impacting, changing and continuing to support so many children and young people throughout their hearing journeys. Our son is testament to that, and they have had an enormous impact on him throughout his entire hearing journey.”

In response to receiving the award the St George’s Hospital Auditory Implant Service said: “St George’s Auditory Implant team are honoured and touched to receive the first Claire Campbell Outstanding Achievement Award. Claire’s work in supporting and advocating on behalf of children with hearing loss was truly inspirational and she set a wonderful example for us all to follow. 

“It is particularly special to have received a nomination from the family of one of our CI children, as our team is constantly striving to provide excellent care to an ever-growing St George's implant family.Cochlear Implantation can truly impact the life of patients and their families, and this award is testament to that success. 

“It is a privilege for our team to work in this area and we are hugely grateful for this award. We would like to congratulate all the nominees in this category, as we all work together to provide holistic and medical care for children and young people with hearing loss. 

“Finally, we would like to thank AVUK for creating this special award in Claire’s memory.”

The St George’s Auditory Implant Service provides cochlear implants to deaf children and adults who can benefit from them. The team assess patients, conduct cochlear implant surgery, provide post operative support and long-term management and support.

Claire’s husband, Chris Campbell, presented the awards with his youngest two children, who were both born deaf and learn to listen and talk with Auditory Verbal therapy, Alice and Oliver, at a celebration event in London on Wednesday (November 29th). 

Chris said: “I’m delighted that the St George’s team and Lauren have won these first awards in memory of Claire who I know would be equally thrilled. Claire was passionately determined that being born deaf would not stop our children, Alice and Ollie, from achieving everything they were capable of.  Lauren demonstrates this everyday as well as giving back by supporting other deaf children to achieve their best and educate  hearing people to have a greater understanding of deafness and what deaf young people can achieve with early and effective support.

“And the team at St George’s really do go above and beyond – treating every one of their patients individually, working in often difficult circumstances but always with a smile supporting the young deaf people and their families from the very beginning of their hearing journey and long term.

“All of those nominated were inspirational in the work they do, proving over and over again that being deaf does not have to be a barrier to any aspiration. Choosing the winners was a tough job but both Lauren and St George’s emulate everything we wanted to recognise in these awards.”

Auditory Verbal UK Chief Executive, Anita Grover, said: “Congratulations to the winners of the first Claire Campbell Outstanding Achievement Awards and to all the finalists for their achievements.   Claire was unwavering in her support for deaf children and their families and it was wonderful to see the quality of nominations that we received for these first Awards in her memory.”

AVUK would like to thank Pollen Street, Phonak, Bloomsbury Flowers and Experience Days for their support, sponsorship and donation of prizes for the awards.