Claire and I were delighted that Madeleine and Francesca (two of Jacqueline’s daughters) could join us at the Shine a Light Awards high up in the magnificent Pearson Building on the Strand last Thursday. Jacqueline had been nominated posthumously as Communication Champion, a new category. Greeted with goody bags and a welcome drink on a warm afternoon, we admired the views over the river before settling down with teams and individuals from all around the UK for the awards ceremony.

Anne Fox of the Communication Trust introduced the celebrity “host”, radio and TV presenter Anne Diamond, and our excitement mounted as awards for various categories were presented, applauded and photographed. We were so delighted that Jacqueline was announced as Highly Commended and we all went up to receive the plaque. The Communication Champion Award was given to a young man now studying at university, who despite considerable challenges has achieved remarkable success in breaking down barriers and defying stereotypes.

After the ceremony we were treated to champagne and cupcakes, and many people came up to the girls and recalled meetings with and memories of Jacqueline. We also had the chance to speak to Anne Diamond about the pioneering work of AVUK, and current exciting developments in training and service that had been Jacqueline’s vision.

We then had the opportunity to make use of the photo booth and dress ups (yes really, think multi-coloured wigs, feather boas and giant sunglasses) and had great fun being silly before emerging into the London rush hour.

A huge thank you to Madeleine and Francesca for giving of their time and really entering into the spirit of it all – they commented at how pleased Jacqueline would have been that the award went to a young person who had exceeded expectations, and how she would have approved of champagne, cupcakes and having fun with dress ups!

The Communication Trust and Pearson had done a great job in organising and welcoming everyone, and it was a great privilege to be there together, with such a fitting tribute to Jacqueline’s amazing achievements.

Isobel Weller  Head of Family Services 

Jacqueline was a highly commended finalist in the Communication Champion category and Auditory VerbalUK was shortlisted for the SLNC Innovation Award for the Shine a Light Awards 2013-14 celebrating excellent practice in supporting children and young people’s communication development.

View the Storify of the event  here