Courageous Carla saluted with new award

Lady holding trophy

Carla Gunstone - Credit: Submitted

A special award was introduced for the first time by Torbay MENCAP this year.

It will be awarded annually in memory of Helen Brinicombe, an inspirational lady who throughout her life displayed exceptional courage, compassion and empathy.  

Helen’s learning disability and complicated health problems didn’t stop her enjoying life and making the best of it.

Nominations were invited from those with a learning difficulty who also have demonstrated great courage particularly through this period of lockdown.

Nine certificates of achievement were awarded to Michael Waudby, Erin Joiner, Elaine Hibbard, Timmy Langdon, Ben Lawrence, Cayci-lea Hendrikson, Adam Scaife, Diane Butland, and Betty Whitemore.

The outright winner of the Helen Brinicombe Cup of Courage was Carla Gunstone.

The presentation was due to take place at a picnic on the last day of Learning Disability week on Paignton Green but because of the Covid restrictions this was not possible and so no one was disappointed a virtual picnic was held on line at which the presentations were made.

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Carla is from Torquay and is 25 years old and has shown immense resilience and a cheerful disposition throughout a long battle with her health.

Diane Butland is 60, and hails from Cornwall originally. She has lived in Paignton since she was 10 and has risen to a range of new challenges this year with an indomitable spirit.