Auditory Verbal UK was last night awarded the Model of Excellence award at the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) Awards ceremony in Westminster.

The CSJ Awards showcases and rewards grassroots charities and voluntary organisations from local communities throughout the UK that have developed effective and innovative ways of addressing a variety of entrenched social issues.

Auditory Verbal UK was founded in 2003 to support young deaf children and their families to get an equal start at school. Its early intervention programme is transforming lives – equipping young deaf children with the listening, talking, thinking and social skills to thrive at school and beyond.

The Model of Excellence Award is awarded to ‘an outstanding, innovative and effective organisation’ whose ‘model is replicable and/or scalable, and can be potentially used to help disadvantaged people all over the UK build an independent life and realise their full potential.’

Jeremy Paxman, who presented the award, said: “Far too many deaf children in the UK are underachieving at school, are at risk of bullying as a consequence, suffer poor mental health, and have lower employment prospects at the end of it all.  The impact of this is lifelong. Auditory Verbal UK’s early intervention programme is bucking a national trend of underachievement.”

Anita Grover, Chief Executive of Auditory Verbal UK, said: “It is a fantastic honour to receive this award and for our work with deaf children to be recognised by a distinguished panel of judges. We are proud that our early intervention programme is changing lives and enabling deaf children to have the same opportunities in life as their hearing peers.  There are currently around 7,200 children with severe to profound hearing loss in the UK under the age of five,  and nearly three quarters of these arrive at primary school having not achieved a good level of development in the early years. We are working to address this inequality to ensure that no deaf children are missing out with our cost effective early intervention. 80% of children who spend at least two years on our programme achieve age-appropriate language and most are in mainstream schools. The key to this is early intervention and getting the right support to babies and young deaf children in the critical early years of their lives.”

The Centre for Social Justice made a short film about our work which you can watch below. 

The AVUK team with the sponsors of the award, Marsh UK. 

Jeremy Paxman presenting our Chief Executive, Anita Grover, with the Model of Excellence Award.

Anita Grover addressing over 300 politicians, organisations and philanthropists. 

The AVUK team with the award.