Habs students Lauren (U6 IC) and Orson (5JG) have both earned prestigious recognition for their amazing work on behalf of deaf children and young people.

Lauren has been named the Child and Young Person winner in the first Claire Campbell Awards for Outstanding Achievement. Meanwhile, Orson has been High Commended in The Children and Young People Now Children’s Achievement Award.

Lauren’s story
Lauren was diagnosed as profoundly deaf soon after she was born. Receiving her first cochlear implant aged two and her second at six, she learned to listen and speak through Auditory Verbal therapy, beginning at just six months old. At age three, she then 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.

Nominated for the awards by Habs Girls, Lauren was put forward due to her sheer dedication to helping others understand deafness and her tireless efforts to improve outcomes for all deaf children. Her mentoring of Orson was another outstanding reason for her nomination.

Claire Campbell Awards
The awards were launched this year in memory of Claire, a mother of two deaf children and passionate advocate for deaf young people, who sadly passed away in November 2022.

An inspiration to many families with deaf children across the UK and abroad, Claire was a committed Chair and ambassador of Auditory Verbal UK.

With strong nominations for children, young people and adults from across the UK, the judges chose Lauren for her dedication and motivation to learn. Yet they were perhaps most impressed by her passion for educating others about deafness.

Of particular note was Lauren’s active support and mentoring of other deaf children within the school. Paired with a consistently positive attitude, Lauren was deemed living proof of what deaf children and young people can achieve.

Picking up the award
Claire Campbell’s family, husband Chris and children Alice and Oliver, presented the award at the Sound of Success event in central London on 29 November.

On receiving her trophy, 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 while calling for more educational support for deaf children, Lauren has spoken at both the House of Commons in Westminster and London City Hall to spotlight the importance of early support for deaf children.

Orson’s journey
Year 5 Orson’s high commendation was in recognition of his outstanding activism. His passionate campaigning work centres around enabling more deaf children to have access to early and effective support.

Orson was born severely deaf, and like his mentor Lauren, he learned to listen and speak through Auditory Verbal therapy. The young campaigner has championed AVUK’s #HearUsNow campaign and delivered a letter to the Prime Minister at Number 10 Downing Street. He has also met cross-party MPs at the House of Commons to explain how Auditory Verbal therapy transformed his life, allowing him to attend mainstream school and enjoy the same opportunities as hearing children of his age.
Orson’s campaigning comes in addition to more than £12,000 raised by his family, friends and school to support more deaf children in getting Auditory Verbal therapy.

Both awards are shining examples of the collaboration and sense of community across both Habs Girls and Habs Boys. Nowhere was this more evident than in Lauren’s mentoring of Orson.

Congratulations, Lauren and Orson, on your awards and a fantastic mentoring partnership.