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Natalie Davidson Wins EFNA Advocacy Award

We are incredibly proud of one of our teachers, Natalie Davidson who has won The European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA) Advocacy Award for 2021.

The European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA) Advocacy Awards recognises the contribution of an individual or group to the development and promotion of advocacy for people with neurological disorders in Europe. Held biannually, in 2021 the awards have focused on the topic of ‘Action against stigma’.

Natalie, the winner of this year’s award, will receive a prize of €2,000 to assist with the continuation and development of her project ‘Action against stigma’.

Natalie, who lives with Tourette Syndrome herself, first engaged with advocacy work nine years ago, participating in a British regional TV programme called ‘Inside Out’ that showed the public how, although Tourette Syndrome brings real challenges, Natalie is leading a happy and successful life. The UK television channel Channel Five later developed a full documentary about Natalie and the work that she does. The programme ‘Teacher With Tourette’s: Cursing In the Classroom’ provided a fantastic opportunity to help spread awareness, reduce discrimination and raise aspirations for those with Tourette Syndrome.

Natalie has worked with national and regional support associations to deliver live talks, workshops, presentations and webinars. She has connected with teachers, lecturers, parents and patients. Natalie’s work has focused on raising aspirations and giving hope to parents and individuals who have Tourette Syndrome and showing them that the pathway is going to be hard but it is a pathway that you can reach the end of. Natalie warmly encourages positivity and as well as acceptance and belief that people can achieve their goals as well as facing the challenges of having Tourette Syndrome. One of Natalie’s goals has been to educate teachers and lecturers on different strategies to enable those within their classrooms and schools to reach their highest potential.

Natalie’s nomination was supported by Sarah Sharp the CEO of Tictock Therapy. Sarah explained: “Natalie Davidson is an incredible role model for our Neurodiverse community. Natalie has bared all in a documentary following her life, living with Tourette’s & OCD, yet still fulfilling her dream to become a teacher. I direct people daily to follow her journey via social media, as she shows resilience and how she copes with the stigma of living with these conditions. I love how she portrays the journey as ‘real’ and doesn’t just show the highs’.”

Everyone at Kingfisher is immensely proud of Natalie and we’re excited to watch her project grow!