Friday 18th November 2011 marked a double celebration for STAGETEXT when Peter Pullan, our co-founder and former Chair, received his MBE from HRH The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace for services to deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people. Then, in the evening, we won the 2011 Signature Annual Award for Organisational Achievement in recognition of our work in creating access to the arts.
Speaking after the event, Peter said: “The Investiture was a wonderful occasion and everyone at the Palace was most charming and helpful. I was delighted that Merfyn, Tabitha and Lynn, who individually have done so much for STAGETEXT and collectively represented all our supporters, could be with me for this special day.”
Merfyn Williams, also a co-founder of STAGETEXT, attended the Signature gala evening at London’s Plaisterer’s Hall, along with Lynn Jackson and Deepa Shastri. STAGETEXT was shortlisted for the award along with Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, Islington Council/NHS Islington Sign Language Interpreting Service and Significan’t. When the winner was announced by Jane Shaw, Chief Executive of Action for Deafness, our excitement was plain to see.
“On behalf of everyone at STAGETEXT, we are delighted to win this award in marking our achievements in increasing access to the arts for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people over the last 11 years,” said Merfyn. “For people with a hearing loss who use English to communicate, theatre and the arts used to be completely out of bounds, but now they have access to over 500 captioned performances a year in all corners of the United Kingdom.
“None of this would have been possible with the commitment of a dedicated Board of Trustees, an energetic staff team, and hundreds of theatres who care about their audiences and the thousands of caption users who continue to lobby for better access to cultural events.
“We thank Signature for this recognition and dedicate this award to Geoff Brown, one of our three tireless founders without whom STAGETEXT would never have been born.”