Verity Fisher, Physiotherapy Manager at the National Star College in Ullenwood near Cheltenham, is the recipient of this year’s United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum (UKABIF) Stephen McAleese Award for Inspiration. The Award was announced by John and Susan McAleese at UKABIF’s 10th Annual and 20th Anniversary Conference which took place this month in London.
Verity said: “I’m really pleased to receive this Award. The young people at the College have a wide range of physical disabilities, Acquired Brain Injury and associated learning difficulties, and my work is all about helping them achieve greater independence. I try to ensure that as many opportunities as possible are made available to our students”. One of Verity’s greatest achievements has been the initiation and organisation of a therapeutic and learning ski trip to Andorra for the young people. The trip originated as a one-week trip for those with moderate physical disabilities which was then rolled out to also include those with very complex disabilities. Verity has worked closely with the Andorra resort, ski school and airlines, as well as the Andorran ambassador, to ensure that all the young people at National Star College have the opportunity to learn to ski.
The ski trip has developed as a key element of the College therapeutic and education programme, with Verity taking a very holistic, multidisciplinary team approach. Her work has been recognised by many organisations, including Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission, during inspections at National Star, and was covered by the BBC breakfast programme.
Andrew Bateman, UKABIF Chair said: “Verity’s innovation, enthusiasm and determination are a great inspiration to us all. Her excellent work has also been carried through in the form of training packages which, alongside the publicity generated, will have a far wider impact in raising awareness of Acquired Brain Injury”.