Nursery worker shortlisted for national award

The deputy manager of a Newmarket nursery has been shortlisted for a national award in recognition of her outstanding work with autistic children.

Sandra Copping, who also acts as the special educational needs co-ordinator at Colourbox Montessori Nursery, has been nominated in the individual achievement by an education professional category in the National Autistic Society’s (NAS) autism professionals awards.

She was nominated by Melanie and Ieuan Evans, whose son Harris attends the nursery.

“We nominated Sandra because we wanted to recognise her exceptional patience and expertise in helping Harris,” the couple said. She has been our guiding star and is a very special person. Harris adores her and that means the world to us.”

Sandra said being nominated for the award was an “unbelievable honour.”

“It makes me proud of what I do and determined to do even more in the future for children and their families,” she added.

“Seeing children in my care develop and blossom is hugely satisfying, and for children who live with autism their achievements are even more rewarding.”

Carol Povey, director of the Centre for Autism at the NAS, said: “The calibre of entries has been outstanding and all the shortlisted entries have done remarkably well to stand out in their respective categories.

“The creative and innovative work of professionals, like Sandra, gives us all the inspiration and motivation to keep multiplying our efforts and ensure that people with autism get to live the life they choose.”

The winner will be announced at the NAS’s annual professional conference on March 5 at The Majestic Hotel in Harrogate.