This award, named after Robin Tavistock, the 14th Duke of Bedford who founded the TTA, is presented annually to a person or group who has made a significant contribution in the field of Aphasia. This year, for the first time, the award goes to someone who, like Robin, has overcome their own Aphasia and gone on to help improve the lives of others.
Originally from Ecuador, Jenny was training as a specialist registrar in Yorkshire when her life changed suddenly and dramatically. Jenny suffered multiple strokes whilst visiting New York in December 1998. She was in a coma for 10 days and when she came out of it she was told that she would never walk or speak again.
Jenny worked hard to overcome her Aphasia, which was made more difficult as English is her second language. Jenny attended specialist Aphasia courses, adult education and college courses in order to improve her communication skills and rebuild her confidence.
In 1999 Jenny and her husband, Wilfried, moved from Yorkshire to Gloucestershire to be closer to their families, but Jenny could find no Aphasia support in the county. In early 2001, with the support of Chris Code and Speakability, Jenny, together with Mary Bracewell, started a self help group for people with Aphasia, which became ‘Glos-Speak’. It took months of hard work to set up, but the result is a vibrant and active group that offers long-term support to people with Aphasia and their families.
Jenny, however, had a wider vision. Encouraged and supported by her husband, she wanted to find a way to make it possible for people with Aphasia to be accepted by society and contribute to the communities where they belonged. She also wanted to reach more people with Aphasia. In 2005, again after much research and planning, Jenny launched her ground breaking Aphasia-friendly Website, ‘AphasiaNow’.
AphasiaNow is a forum run by, and established for, people with Aphasia. It is a place where people can find useful information, interesting articles and vital encouragement. It is a place where people, wherever they are, can share experiences and pass on expertise. The Website has not only grown into one of the most useful Websites about Aphasia, it has also enabled a virtual community to evolve. In 2007, AphasiaNow hosted its own two day conference.
Jenny’s determination and single mindedness has achieved so much in such a short space of time, both personally and for so many people. She is an inspiration to all and greatly deserves this award.
Jenny Dautlich was also the recipient of the National Health & Social Care “Outstanding Achiever of the Year" Award.
For further information on The Tavistock Trust, please visit www.aphasiatavistocktrust.org or telephone 01525 290 002
For further information on AphasiaNow, please visit www.aphasianow.org