Healthwatch Essex – the independent charity that listens to and represents the voice of users of health and social care in Essex – has been celebrating multiple awards for its board members and volunteers recently with a flurry of accolades coming their way.
Chair of the Board of Trustees, Les Lodge, scooped Volunteer of the Year at the Marvels of Mid Awards handed out by Mid Essex Clinical Commissioning Group. Fellow Trustee, and Vice Chair of the charity’s Board, Samantha Glover was also a finalist at The Dental Awards last week.
Volunteers working with Healthwatch Essex, known as Ambassadors, have also got in on the action, with Siobhan Riordan being named Inspirational Role Model of the Year at the Braintree District Volunteer Awards, and John Wills being awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Directory of Social Change.
“John is one of our Mental Health Ambassadors and Siobhan is a Carer Ambassador,” explained Tom Nutt, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Essex. “Both richly deserve the recognition they have received and we are very lucky to have them working with us.
“Likewise, our trusty Trustees, Sam and Les, put in an enormous amount of work that makes a huge difference to the success of Healthwatch Essex. Volunteering has always been a big part of what makes us able to capture the lived experience of the people of Essex and we work with many other organisations that similarly rely on the commitment of their volunteers.”
Samantha Glover was nominated for Oral Health Educator of the Year at the Dental Awards presented last Friday (12th May) in Birmingham. Praised for her dedication to self-training in her MSC studies, she was also marked out for her professionalism, consistent empathy with patients and the demands of clinical care.
Les beat ten other volunteers shortlisted in the Marvels of Mid Awards to take Volunteer of the Year. Dr Caroline Dollery, Chair of Mid Essex CCG, said, “We
wanted to recognise the efforts and achievements people put into helping our population to live well, often without thought of thanks or reward.”
Siobhan was praised for her role as Carer Ambassador in helping Essex County Council shape what Carer Support Services should look like, and Debra Allcock Tyler, CEO of the Directory of Social Change, said of John, “He is an exceptionally positive role model to many victims of abuse and sufferers of mental health issues and is very highly regarded by all the staff that he has worked with both past and present.”