On Saturday 16 March, Roger Hackley, received a 2019 Community Champion award at Villa Park on behalf of his late partner Ruth Stebbens, our former Executive Manager.
He said that it was a great honour to receive it on Ruth's behalf and he felt proud of her, but that she should have been there to get the award herself.
The award is run by the Aston Villa Foundation as part of the Supporting Our Own initiative, which is the club’s commitment to its local community and Ruth's recognition was well deserved.
Ruth was dedicated to improving the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the South Birmingham area. The respect she was held in could be clearly seen, with over a hundred people attending her funeral last month.
For those who weren't able to attend the funeral, CASBA will also be holding a celebration of Ruth’s life at St Laurence Pastoral Centre next week. If you knew Ruth and would like to attend, call 0121 4750777.
The last month has been incredibly hard for everyone at CASBA. Our beloved and much respected manager, Ruth Stebbens, died on 28th January and we have all been in a state of shock. In such a small team, her loss has been felt very strongly by all the staff, but also by our volunteers and the people we work with.
Last Monday we paid our final respects to Ruth at the funeral. It was invitation only, but the turnout was staggeringly large and demonstrates just how much Ruth meant to so many people. We will also be holding a celebration of Ruth's life at St Laurence Pastoral Centre for everyone who worked with her, but wasn't able to go to the funeral and we'll announce details of that in the coming weeks.
Ruth would have wanted us to get on with making CASBA a success and supporting the people that she was so devoted to throughout her working life, so we do also have some positive developments to report this month. Ruth had done a great job of our application for a second Heritage Project and we can now announce that this was successful. Education is Special has been made possible by money raised by National Lottery players. This exciting project will bring together current and former pupils at special schools to record their experiences of what it’s like to go to a special school, as well as interviewing teachers and parents. Following on from our ground-breaking project about Monyhull Hospital, the new two-year project will look at how special education has developed over the last 50 years in Birmingham
Thanks to support from the Police Victims Fund, we are able to put on a lot more training sessions this year. Carly Williams has been running the "I'm worth it" course with the help of volunteers, which finished last week. All the participants gave great feedback on the course and said they'd got a lot out of it. This week we are now beginning a new course; "The Freedom Programme" tailored for women with Learning Disabilities, which is being run by Jo Brandon and Carly Wiliams and will cover topics such as what are healthy and unhealthy relationships and how do they make us feel. If you'd like to refer someone onto one of these courses later in the year, when they will be running again, please get in touch.