Award for our inspirational Sean

29 November 2017

Sean Burnett from Spennymoor received an award for Sport & Physical Achievement at the Active Durham Sport and Physical Activity Awards recently, for leading an active lifestyle whilst facing personal barriers and challenges.

Sean was in a road traffic accident at the age of 11. He has overcome life threatening head injuries as well as a Stroke which led to many operations and damage to the left side of his body. After the accident, Sean was in a wheelchair for 4 years which was a tough time in his life. At the age of 17, he moved out of his house and lived on his own, determined to try and live an independent life at the earliest opportunity.

Now at the age of 40, Sean still strives to push himself further. He referred himself into the Wellbeing for Life service for support to be more active.

Our Health Trainer Barry Thompson started working with Sean to help him achieve his health goals. Barry accompanied him swimming at the Woodhouse Close Pool in Bishop Auckland, where he now goes regularly with one of our volunteers.

Barry nominated Sean and said “He is an inspiration; his determination to maintain some quality of life after a life changing accident and the subsequent effects is amazing. He requires support getting from his modified disability car into the changing rooms, then into and out of the pool. It takes a lot of effort and motivation with his slow walking pace. He now has his own routine and declines aid from the mechanical hoist. Even getting up to receive the award was a physical struggle but Sean was again able to demonstrate determination and collected his award from former Olympic athlete Chris Tomlinson.”

Barry Thompson, Sean Burnett and Olympian Chris Thompson at the awards

Sean also enjoys attending a craft group, as this keeps his mind engaged. He regularly visits his mam and friends and watches his nephew play football. Sean proves it is possible to overcome difficulties and achieve results.

Sean said “I am very happy to have received the award, and will continue to be as active as I can both physically and mentally. Wellbeing for Life has been brilliant, I enjoy the social aspect of the service and the swimming improves the strength in my left side. Meeting the health trainer and volunteer has been great and helped me a lot. I am really grateful for the help and support I have received.”

All local winners will now go forward to compete in their award category at the County Awards event to be held at The Gala Theatre in Durham on Friday 26 January 2018.