03 September 2018

The East London NHS Foundation Trust’s annual People Participation Awards ceremony took place at the Mile End Park Art Pavilion on Thursday 30 August. Nearly one hundred guests were in attendance, and the Chair of the Trust, Marie Gabriel, opened proceedings with some warm words of welcome.

There were eight categories of awards, with over sixty individuals and groups shortlisted in total. The award categories this year included: Interview Panellist of the year, the champion for Health and Wellbeing, the Trainer of the year, the Young Person of the Year, the person who made the most Outstanding Contribution to Service Improvement, an award for Moving On, a special category awarded by the Trust chair, called Bridging the Gap, and a special Chief Executive prize for Person of the Year. 

‘It is our service users, carers and volunteers and the contribution they make to the Trust that makes it a success. It is their hard work and willingness to share their skills, knowledge and insight that means the Trust can continually strive to provide the highest quality services possible’, stated Marie Gabriel. 

Quite early on in the evening, a hush descended across the hall as everyone was transfixed by the multi-talented singer songwriter Sammi and poet Krystal.  Both are founding members of the musical initiative ‘Constellations’, set up with the support of the Central Bedfordshire CAMHS unit, and this year’s joint winners for the category ‘Young Person of the year.’ It was easy to understand why.

Paul Binfield, the Trust’s Head of People Participation and compere for the evening, welcomed the winner for the Interview Panellist category. Paul reminded everyone what an important task it was:  to represent all our service users when appointments are being made, and Jim, our winner from Bedford, had shown real dedication in this task.

Worth their weight in gold

Up next was the shortlisted candidate for the champion of Health and Wellbeing.  ‘They had not only taken the lead in spearheading a challenging sports programme, but had gone onto encourage and motivate others who followed in his path. People like Jagdeep are worth their weight in gold to the Trust’, said Paul.

The Trainer of the Year was won by two people: Richard and Ola train not only fellow service users but also members of staff. ‘Great enthusiasm matters, and helping people be better in their roles is so important’, stated Paul. 

Camilla won the Contribution to Service Improvement award. She has worked hard over the last year to help make sure people are supported. The loud cheer Camilla received upon collecting her award was testimony to how much she is respected by everyone that knows her. 

There were two winners for the Person of the Year. Mo has brought his ‘knowledge and wisdom  to bear positively on all those he comes into contact with’, and his colleague Ola, who shared the prize, is marked out for being ‘insightful, passionate, and a real role model.’ 

The Bridging the Gap award is all about making sure that those entirely user led projects are given the recognition they deserve. Our champions in this category, Felicity, Satwinder and Jim, all play their part in applying ‘single minded determination to implement their ideas, with courage and determination, despite the obstacles that came up on the way.’ 

The balmy late summer evening was rounded off in style, with roots reggae sounds provided by DJ Dave. Rumour has it both the Trust Chair Marie, and Chief Executive, Navina, joined the dance floor for a boogie as well!  All in all, a perfect finish to a wonderful celebration of Trust talent.