Val is recognised as top class with national award

Val Ford (right) with Hastings MP Amber Rudd
Val Ford (right) with Hastings MP Amber Rudd

A CHARITY worker has been awarded a City and Guilds Medal for Excellence, one of only 80 in the UK.

Val Ford, director of Advocacy training at local charity SEAP, received the prestigious award for her work as a trainer and assessor.

She was also one of only nine to receive a People’s Award, voted for by the public.

Val said: “So much now is distance learning, and I have always felt very passionately about meeting somebody in person.”

She added: “The awareness around advocacy is pushing forward.

“Professionals are becoming aware of the importance of independent advice.”

SEAP is a charity which supports those who are unable to speak out or make decisions for themselves for whatever reason.

It was established as South East Advocacy Projects in Hastings in 1994, and has grown to work across 92 local authorities, employing 105 people.

The work of the charity is varied and includes delivering the health complaints service in Hastings and most of the south of England, supporting people with limited capacity (commonly with dementia) to make decisions in the absence of family or friends, and supporting people with learning disabilities to participate fully in the planning of their lives.

SEAP is looking to expand the services that it provides locally, and is looking for volunteers, both in advocacy services, and in a range of other roles at head office including fundraising, marketing and admin.

Anyone interested in learning more about these opportunities available should email Visit