// Monday 15 Feb 2016
Earsay, Jersey’s society for deaf children and young adults, created 'The Pat Bougeard Achievement Award' in 2012, to be presented annually to the dDeaf child or young person who has achieved something fantastic during the year.
This year there were two nominations which were passed on to an impartial judge in the UK, who had knowledge of Earsay but not the nominees. After careful thought Heather Armstrong, aged 11, was chosen as the 2017 winner.
Heather was nominated by Mrs Jeannette De Guelle, a family friend, who felt Heather was a remarkable young person who will be a true ambassador for not only deaf children, but all children, in the future. She sees her deafness not as a disability but a minor obstacle in her way, and time and time again she proves what can be done when you focus on something.
In 2017 Heather achieved: Grade 2 Performance exam, Bronze award for swimming, Eisteddfod Gold for flowers and Distinction for Art, delivered a talk about deafness to her Brownies, assisted and signed for a film for Jersey Heritage and throughout the year Heather fully supported deaf children at her primary school which is a role she takes very seriously.
Sadly in this year Heather also lost her beloved grandmother and she was one of the few people who could make her Grandmother eat and make her laugh despite her pain. Taking her own heartache in hand she showed maturity far beyond her years.
The judge felt Heather’s passion and commitment to achieving whatever she put her mind to was exceptional, and her attitude towards the situation with her grandmother showed great strength. Heather’s role as a deaf ambassador in the Jersey community with her friendly and caring approach to others was to be commended.
The other nominee Brooke Jarrett , nominated by Le Rocquier School for being such a fantastic deaf role model in her school community, was also praised by the judge. Brooke achieved an early GCSE qualification in English Literature in year 10, overcoming many hurdles relating to her learning, as well as her level 2 BSL sign language qualification.
Nominations for Earsay’s 2018 Award can be made later in the year, by anyone – teacher/parent/club leader etc , please see here (and facebook) for full details of how to make a nomination around September 2018.
The Pat Bougeard Achievement Award was set up in the name of Pat Bougeard, Earsay’s only deaf committee member, who in 2012 was licensed as a lay reader with the Diocese of Winchester. She was the first deaf person to achieve this distinction, which requires three years of intensive study, and provides many challenges along the way. She is also a fantastic role model for our deaf children, always ready to volunteer her time to help others. To mark her phenomenal accomplishment, and to be a great legacy from our 40th year celebrations in 2012, the Award was born.