"Brilliant young artist and advocate" Ava from Preston is shortlisted for national charity award

A deafblind teenager from Preston has been shortlisted for national charity award.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 4:38 pm

Ava Jolliffe, 15, from Broughton, has been nominated for ‘Young Person of the Year’ at the 2021 Sense Awards.

Ava, who is also a wheelchair user, is being recognised for her achievements as a young artist and advocate for deafblind people.

Despite her difficulties, she creates digital artworks using her tablet computer, and also raises awareness about deafblindness through her social media channels.

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Ava, 15, from Broughton

>>>Click here to read about Ava's first full art exhibition.

Ava is clinically extremely vulnerable and was told she wouldn’t live past the age of seven due to a rare disorder, Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome. The pandemic was exceptionally isolating for her as she had to spend long periods of time at home.

But despite being frustrated by the limits to what she could do, she was determined to focus on her art and continue being creative and raising awareness about deafblindness.

Ava’s recent artistic achievements include winning the public vote at the Harris Art Gallery Open Competition 2021 and running a successful solo art exhibition in Preston. She has many projects coming up including commissions from Ocado Life magazine.

An example of Ava's art work

She said: “I am so very proud and happy to have been nominated for this award. I have worked very hard in advocating for my deafblind and disabled peers by showcasing my abilities to challenge perceptions, and to improve understanding of complex needs artists and people.

"I have so many goals I want to achieve, and I want to show the world that disability does not stop you dreaming big.”

"Brilliant young artist and advocate"

Sense Chief Executive, Richard Kramer, said: “Ava is a brilliant young artist and advocate, as well as being a wonderful role model for young people who are deafblind. We are delighted to shortlist her as our 2021 ‘Young Person of the Year’ and wish her all the best with her artistic ambitions.”

Ava at work on her computer

The Sense Awards recognise the outstanding achievements of people with complex disabilities, as well as the staff, carers, family members, volunteers and fundraisers who support them. Winners will be announced on November 25.