Peter Pullan MBE, one of the three founders of STAGETEXT, received this year's Heather Jackson Award at the National Association of Deafened People's Conference in London on 27 April. The award is given to a deafened person who has made a significant contribution to the improvement of the welfare and opportunity of deafened people.
Along with Geoff Brown and Merfyn Williams, Peter played a leading part in procuring equipment for STAGETEXT back in 2000, largely at his own expense, encouraging theatres to put on captioned shows and setting up STAGETEXT as a charitable company and obtaining funding, notably from Arts Council England. Without his leadership it is doubtful whether the organisation would have reached the level it has today, though of course Peter has been greatly supported by his fellow Trustees as well as former and current staff members.
“I am delighted to receive this award as it has special memories for me. Heather came to our first captioned performance at the Barbican Theatre back in November 2000 with her two daughters. This was the first time she’d been able to follow a play since becoming deafened 16 years earlier, and I remember the pure joy on her face when she was able to follow everything,” recalls Peter. “After that she became a great supporter of STAGETEXT and attended many captioned shows.”
Without Peter’s tireless work deafened and hard of hearing people would not enjoy the access to the theatre that they now have, nor would STAGETEXT have developed into the successful organisation that it now is. He is a worthy winner of the Heather Jackson Award, which will be presented to him at the NADP AGM in April.
Heather Jackson was NADP’s Chairman until they lost her to cancer in 2007 after a short illness at the age of 58. A charismatic leader, she was not only a guiding force for NADP but was also a trainer on the residential courses at the LINK Centre (now Hearing Link) and Chairman of the CACDP (now Signature) Deaf Awareness Committee and CACDP’s Vice Chairman. All three charities are involved in the award.
Read the full NADP press release here.