WINNERS for a new awards ceremony will be celebrated at an inaugural awards ceremony being held this Thursday night.

The Generation CAN Awards are celebrating the remarkable achievements of children with special educational needs and disabilities and the adults who support them.

The awards and the charity champions the stories of success across Worcestershire, with the aim to encourage and empower people, whatever their age, to continue to stand up for the beauty and value of diversity.

The nominees came from across the county and the 37 winners have been told in advance, before they collect their awards at the ceremony being held at the University of Worcester Arena.

Among this year's winners are six-year-old Sidney who has Downs Syndrome and has learnt to sign, speak and write over the last two years - dramatically improving his ability to communicate. Other children award winners include Shannon, a wheelchair user, who followed a gruelling training regime to walk half a mile to raise money for charity, and Jack, who used to find mixing with other children very difficult but is now a prefect in his school, where he is thriving.

The awards, being sponsored by Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, are being attended by various dignitaries including Worcester MP Robin Walker, Dr Adam Boddison chief executive of nasen and Anne Heavey, director of whole school SEND. The award categories include the voice award for social communication, bright spark award, path award, sensation award, the heartbeat award, and the wonder award recognising professionals within education, health and social care for their remarkable commitment and determination. The categories are designed to celebrate not only the children with disabilities but the people who support them to thrive.

Lorraine Petersen OBE, a Generation Can trustee, said the charity is about “celebrating all that is good about SEND provision in Worcestershire”, which has "never been so crucial".