The E-C.H.O Literary and Music Awards are a result of the personal experiences of the awards’ founder, Charlotte Wingfield, the mother of Enrico-Charles, a child born with Werdnig Hoffman disease.
Enrico-Charles was quadriplegic, and needed constant night-time ventilator support, with occasional daytime treatment, requiring constant physiotherapy, physical assistance and enteral feeding via a gastrostomy tube.
The doctors told her he would not live to experience his first birthday, but Enrico’s extraordinary spirit, humour and affability convinced her of his will to live. She travelled the world with him in search of doctors and specialists, and his bright and loveable personality captured hearts and minds from London to New York and Paris.
Charlotte Wingfield said: “Regardless of the crises that beset him, he remained so content and cheerful, and this convinced me that his life and death must mean something. I decided to find a way to honour his memory and somehow put my experiences and knowledge to good use, and help others.
“I launched a national literary and music award that would allow disabled people to tell their own stories in a way that would celebrate life... and show that they can be smart, sexy, fun and successful.
"While Enrico was alive I initiated two clinical trials in the UK and began to put together a project for a palliative care hospice in Paris, training nearly 200 healthcare professionals in a groundbreaking, non-invasive respiratory management program developed by Professor John R Bach from the University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey (one of the medical professionals who took care of the late Christopher Reeves)."
The E-C.H.O Awards have two categories, Music and Literature, and will be presented to the winners in October 2013.
The closing date for inspirational stories and music is the 10th October.
The organisers are now looking for sponsors who can help to roll them out across the country, and support the development of an associated online radio station and magazine.
This year, the awards will be promoted and publicised mainly in Shropshire, but will roll out across the country in 2014. They have been running since 2010 in the UK, where they were administered by a large literary festival. From 2013, they are being run independently.
The awards use disabled people’s personal stories to inspire other disabled people to be successful, but also to celebrate their talents and achievements, diversity, promote inclusion, dismantle barriers, and improve disability awareness among non-disabled people.
The entries also provide information and enlighten the public about some of the barriers faced by disabled people in their daily lives.
For further information, or if you would like to be a part of the awards, contact: Charlotte Wingfield, Director/Founder, mobile: 07586 870904.
E-C.H.O Awards, Curzon House, 64 Clifton Street, London EC2A 4HB
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.enricocharlesliteraryaward.com