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Famous campaigner to host annual disability awards

Words by Blyth Brentnall

The broadcaster, speaker, author and disability advocate, Samantha Renke, will host the national disability charity Sense’s annual awards ceremony.

Amazing! What’s the deal?

The Sense Awards 2023, taking place on 23 November, will celebrate the outstanding achievements of people with complex disabilities and those who support them.

Awards will be presented in 13 categories. These include ‘Person of the Year’, ‘Campaigner of the Year’, ‘Young Sibling of the Year’ and ‘Celebrity of the Year’. Previous winners include comedian Rosie Jones and BBC News correspondent Nikki Fox.  

A team of disabled celebrities, influencers and disability activists will judge the awards, selecting the shortlist and winners. 

Judges include singer-songwriter Alice Ella, chef and TV presenter Briony May Williams, Paralympian Siobhan Fitzpatrick and disabled influencer Lauren Gilbert, whose decisions will be announced by Samantha.

Tell me about Samantha.

This year’s host, Samantha was born with Brittle Bone Condition. She regularly speaks out on topics such as body image, ableism and the financial and social impact on disabled people. She’s written for the Metro and is co-host of The Motability Lifestyle Pod.

In her book, You Are The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread, she shares her experiences of living with a disability. 

She’s appeared on shows including Lorraine, Loose Women, Celebrity Antiques Road Trip, Jeremy Vine on 5 and Sunday Morning Live. 

“In recent years, as I’ve become more involved as a disability rights campaigner, I’ve come to fully understand and feel so much pride in my disability identity,” she said. “The Sense Awards are a fantastic way to celebrate the achievements of disabled people and continue to raise our voices.”

Charity check-in 

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

Sense. Sense helps thousands of people who have complex disabilities to communicate, experience the world and fulfil their potential. Learn more here.

Scope. Scope is the disability equality charity in England and Wales, providing practical information and emotional support when it’s most needed, campaigning to create a fairer society. Support them here.

Disability Rights UK. Disability Rights UK is the UK’s leading organisation led by, run by, and working for disabled people. Find out more.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Partnership for the Goals.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs