Opinion: WHISH earns community award - from the Duke of York

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Most of us respond positively to praise – being told we have done something well is affirming and encouraging.

This applies whether we are children or adults. Even when the end results may not be quite what we anticipated, most people can be praised for the effort they have put in.

Some of our WHISH children have had other people in their lives focus on what they can’t do, because of their impairment or disability, rather than their abilities and what they can do.

A key part of WHISH is providing different activities for the children to try, in a safe and supportive environment, where they can have a go at arty things or sports in smaller groups than at school.

We start off with a taster session, then signpost the children off to a local group.

Sometimes we will run a series of six or eight sessions to build skills and confidence, then the children join an established group in the community. So far this year we are trying out Tae Kwon Do, dance and golf.

Some of the children are musically gifted, playing instruments or singing. Others have decided at an early age – or someone has decided for them, that they “aren’t musical”.

To demonstrate that everyone can be musical, we recently ran five sessions of Found sound – making music with everyday things in our lives.

The children wrote songs, made music and produced a CD.

All of them deserve a big well done.

One of the WHISH children that deserves a huge well done is Charlie Brew, 10, who completed the Boxing Day Dip on behalf of WHISH and raised an amazing £425, which we will plough back in to more activities.

The adult volunteers of WHISH also deserve praise, for their continuing commitment to supporting activities, being trustees, organising fundraising and so on.

WHISH has just received a very public well done from HRH the Duke of York, who has chosen WHISH as one of 42 Yorkshire-based groups to receive his 2016 Community Initiative Award.