The Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing disruption forced the closures of schools across the United Kingdom, meaning that pupils were unable to sit GCSE, A-Level and other exams, which would be key to determining their futures. One of the pupil’s affected was Jaden Payne, who turned 18 on July 8 this year.
Jaden, who comes from a family of Barbadian heritage, has a permanent traumatic brain injury, and is registered as disabled and considered to have a hidden disability.
He is one of many people who have benefited from AKA Case Management’s comprehensive case management services in all areas of rehabilitation. AKA’s expertise lies particularly in the field of traumatic injuries, including brain and spinal cord injuries, orthopaedic injuries and cerebral palsy, and the organisation is committed to helping individuals recover as much as possible and enabling them to live life to the full.
In February 2017, Jaden was training at the Birchfield Harriers Academy in Birmingham prior to his accident and dreamed of becoming an athlete. When his brain injury came, he was unable to resume training for over a year.
Despite the challenges that his injury has inflicted upon his life, Jaden is determined not to let it dampen his aspirations. Pushed by his coach to regain his fitness, in January 2019 Jaden progressed from the Birchfield Harriers Academy to the Birchfield Harriers Club. Since August last year, he has been classified as a T38 para athlete and competed in his first competitive race, running a personal best of 15.63 seconds and finishing fourth.
He has high hopes of completing a university degree and competing for Team GB at the Paralympics.
With the cancellation of exams in 2020, decisions on grades would be based on Ofqual’s controversial standardisation algorithm, before a government U-turn saw results determined by teacher assessed grades. The uncertainty left Jaden’s university hopes hanging in the balance.
After awaiting his results all summer, in a year where Covid-19 had already deprived him of celebrating his eighteenth birthday in the manner he had hoped, Jaden was awarded a BTEC Qualification of Distinction-Distinction-Merit, meaning he will be able to attend his first-choice university in London to study sports rehabilitation.
His parents Shawn and Suzanne told Barbados Nation Magazine UK: “Jaden has worked hard. It is fantastic what he has achieved, considering his circumstances.”
Jaden took the opportunity to thank his lecturers at Bourneville College in Longbridge where he studied for his BTEC and is relishing the next chapter of his life.
AKA Case Management’s managing director Angela Kerr could not be prouder of the outcome.
She said: “We wish Jaden all the best with his goals and look forward to supporting him, however we can, in achieving them.”