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Passwerk Lifetime Achievement Awards 2020 and 2021 were presented to laureates Ilse Noens and Beelen

On 25 November 2021, the official presentation of the Passwerk Lifetime Achievement Awards (PLAA) for 2020 (Ilse Noens) and 2021 (Bert Beelen) took place. Despite many cancellations due to quarantining or infection, we were still able to welcome around eighty guests.

Due to the pandemic, the celebration could not be held last year and we therefore honoured two laureates this year. In hindsight, we were very lucky because the weekend after our event these types of festivities could no longer be held.

Unfortunately, one of the laureates, namely Ilse Noens, could not be present due to quarantining. Luckily, she was able to attend digitally, together with her partner, and she was represented live by her incredibly friendly parents. Bert's wife Lieve, daughter Katrien and son-in-law Ted – co-founders of De Lift Education school – could also not be present.

Both laureates have, in their own way, made a big difference for the community of people with an autism spectrum disorder and therefore Passwerk's board of directors, who present the PLAAs every year, agree that they deserve a hero status. The laureates are awarded a statue made of letters. A biography of their life, because we feel they are role models and we are inspired by their life stories! We want to carve the names of our laureates in our minds in other ways as well. They will be immortalised on a plaque containing the names of all our PLAA laureates in our head office in Berchem. A hall in one of our offices will also be named after each of them. And last but not least, they received an official certificate during the festivities.

Various circumstances, particularly the coronavirus-related measures, meant that writing a biography about Ilse Noens was not feasible. Therefore, we gave Ilse the special opportunity of donating the monetary value of the biography to a charity of her choice. Ilse chose to donate the money to LAVA, Lees- en Adviesgroep Volwassenen met Autisme (Reading and Advice Group for Adults with Autism). They are involved in giving autism a different, additional voice when it comes to scientific research and social imaging, and in helping to reshape the typical image of autism.


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