We are delighted to say that Denise Yates, former Chief Executive of Potential Plus UK was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List.  Congratulations. (Image: Denise (right) being presented with her MBE March, 2022 at Alnwick Castle). Here Anna Comino-James explains why she nominated Denise.

Denise Yates has worked for many years in the field of helping and supporting High Learning Potential (HLP) and Dual and Multiply Exceptional (DME) children and their families.  As a collaborator in this field, I have been very aware of and much appreciated the effort, determination, skill, and tact with which Denise has done so, both in her previous role as Chief Executive of Potential Plus UK and, more recently, as a Trustee of The Potential Trust.  Quick to respond positively to ideas for doing more or for doing something in a better way, she was and is proactive in putting suggestions into practice.  Many children and their parents have benefited from her contribution to their well-being, and many more will do so as she continues to be active on their behalf.

As part of her contribution to this field of work at the time of my making the nomination, Denise was co-authoring The School Handbook for Dual and Multiple Exceptionality (now in print) to enable teachers and schools to offer adequate and appropriate support, and was also planning a handbook for parents, which she is currently writing in partnership with both Potential Plus UK and The Potential Trust.

Her focus is on making the world a place in which HLP and DME children are better able to be themselves and to thrive – a state of being which every child needs but which these children often find difficult to accessing.

Anna Comino-James, Nominator

Professionally involved with children of high learning potential since the late 1960s, Anna Comino-James set up The Potential Trust in 1984 ‘to provide, promote, and encourage whatever makes education more interesting and exciting for school age students, especially children of high potential, those with considerably more than the average share of curiosity and persistence’. Anna is a trustee of both The Potential Trust and of The Comino Foundation