Recognition Awards 2013: Diane Findlay, Betts Ward, Green Parks House

Winner: Diane Findlay, Betts Ward, Green Parks House

Diane’s nominator wrote that she: “began her journey as an Oxleas service user and has shown remarkable determination in making use of her lived experience to become one of our most inspiring health practitioners. Following treatment Diane worked with me as a peer volunteer, starting in ResearchNet then progressing to co-run art therapy sessions on Betts Ward. She successfully moved from this voluntary role to a substantive healthcare assistant role and continues as a valued team member.”

She continues to volunteer at Oxleas, speaking to other service users at our personality disorder psychoeducation course. She has contributed to international research and is now planning to formally train as a psychiatric nurse.

Her nominator continued: “Her example shows that service users and service providers are not separate species, and she has thrived in the often challenging environment of the ward. Diane draws on lived experience where appropriate to help those in distress feel understood, safer and calmer in sessions on the ward. I have myself benefited from co-working with Diane and it has changed my practice. I learnt much about the positive capacity of our service users and about the need to lead all interventions with empathy.”

Recognition Awards 2013: Dickens Therapy Team, HMP Rochester

Runner up: Dickens Therapy Team, HMP Rochester

There were several nominations for the Dickens Therapy Team, including some from offenders. The small team run a wide range of therapeutic groups including: depression, anxiety, emotional, self control, sleep hygiene and social skills. They also provide individual support such as; counselling, extended assessments on psychology and occupational therapy. Evaluation has highlighted that these activities have a significantly positive effect on the offenders who take part.

One nominator wrote: “With only three full time members of staff and three part-time (who only work one day a week) we have run 402 theraputic groups and 537 individual therapeutic sessions. We go the extra mile for our patients including spending nearly an entire day with someone who needs extra support. We recognise vulnerability and put our patients first.”

Feedback includes: “The groups have helped me an awful lot with my anger and stress problems.”

“I’m a lot calmer. I had lots of anger problems and I’m chilled out at the moment.”

“It helps you lose the ways you justified your [offending] behaviour.”

Chris Millin was nominated for the workshop he ran: “…he is a good urban arts teacher and I find his course very interesting.” Another nominator wrote: “It helps me to relax and express my creative side. I find this helps me to sleep better and be more upbeat and it’s a new skill to have that I may need in the future. I need an outlet to be creative and expressive. I also like to learn and pass on skills that I have learnt.”

Recognition Awards 2013: Crayford Centre Social Inclusion and Employment Service

Commended: Crayford Centre Social Inclusion and Employment Service

The team were nominated by several of their service users. One person wrote: "When I was in mental hospital the last time, one of them phoned me and two of them visited me...If I have a problem they are always there for me...They are really supportive in my efforts in social inclusion...If I need some sound practical advice, it is always them that I turn to. Without them what would I do?"

Another nominator wrote: "They have always done their best for me over many years, plus their connections with other agencies have been impeccable...They are a great team and work well as a team and manager inclusively...They are always under stress, stretched to the limits, still they have time for you when you are in a crisis."   

Recognition Awards 2013: Martin Blackford and Terry Kempton, Bridgeways Day Therapy Service

Commended: Martin Blackford and Terry Kempton, Bridgeways Day Therapy Service

Martin and Terry were nominated for the walking group that they run for older people with dementia. This starts with short walks around local parks and builds up woodland and countryside walks of up to 4.5 miles. They both walk each route personally beforehand to ensure they are suitable. During the walk they often stop for a light lunch which is an opportunity for socialising.

Their nominator said: “Both Martin and Terry have been successfully running our walking for health group for well over a year now. The aim of the group is to encourage and engage service users in social inclusion activity through exercise. This group has been very successful in improving clients’ physical and mental health and has been effective in maintaining recovery. Many have gone on to improve their diet and their weight through this exercise and for some this has helped their diabetes.”

Commended: Emily Manners, Heath Clinic Bracton Centre

Emily is a Therapeutic Working Day Facilitator on Heath Clinic and has been running a series of innovative educational groups with service users. Her nominator wrote: “Emily is a truly inspirational individual both in terms of her commitment to our patient group and her ability to inspire and motivate individuals who have been in services since early adolescents, whereby hope for a future is very much diminished. One particular resident was admitted with extreme challenging behaviour, and was both a high risk to herself and others, all this said, she had incredible creative and organisational skills. Emily fostered these skills and in time the resident attended work placement in a nearby theatre, she worked on set design amongst other projects. There were times when she struggled, and felt she could not continue, however Emily did not give up , and I am proud to say this person is now at university and is in a long term relationship.”

“She works closely with residents, identifying skills that can be translated into meaningful activities. One group promotes a learning culture, the science project is about combining theoretical based learning about the big bang, the universe, and then visiting the planetarium, so the residents can experience and get a full understanding of the subject. The history group also had a theoretical component with the added experience of visiting places like Hampton Court.”

Feedback from service users has been very positive and includes: “You had something to be proud of at the end. You had a chance to escape the hustle of the ward”. 

“Emily is able to model how to cope with mistakes and she has taught me to laugh at myself instead of self harm…..Emily understood my needs and worked with me to reach my potential”.