Sam and Jo Gardiner are a mother and son team from Manchester who were recently featured on BBC 2’s Race Across the World. Their journey took them on an intense adventure across Latin America which had its unique challenges as Sam has FASD and ADHD. Mum Jo says Sam was always ‘lively’ since he was adopted as a child at 6 months. Together they spent years trying to get him the right support in schools that did not understand Sam’s FASD. In college Sam found a love of outdoor work and enjoyed learning about building and car maintenance. Today Sam is loving his job as a landscape gardener and he’s much happier than when he was at school. Jo has balanced raising two sons with her own career and health issues, including Type 1 diabetes. She is helping raise awareness for Diabetes UK and is working on a book about their experiences.
Jo said, “We are both delighted and excited to be judges for this great cause. We both feel it is extremely important to raise awareness of the damage that can be caused by drinking whilst pregnant. Ultimately can change the lives of your unborn baby, not to mention your own life, as Sam and I know only too well.” Jo says, “Sam is wonderful and I love him dearly but I know had he not been exposed to alcohol in the womb, his whole journey through life would have been so much easier.”
Jasmine and Holly are two sisters from South East London. Profoundly deaf from birth Jasmine is fluent in British Sign Language and has used her disability as a platform to create awareness for the deaf community. She’s a popular YouTuber with over 200,000 subscribers. Jasmine is very creative in her filming and editing and often gets Holly involved. Holly herself is fluent in British Sign Language and regularly interprets for Much Laughter: Stand Up for FASD’s comedy nights. Both Holly and Jasmine are very full of life and love to keep everybody’s spirits high! They are a great team.
Jasmine and Holly say, ‘’Knowing that our involvement in this exciting project could change lives across the UK really makes it all worthwhile. We are thrilled to have been given this opportunity and can’t wait to see some of the talent across the board.’’
Do you have any questions?