“This is an amazing experience, and very inspiring,” said Andrew.
“And humbling. I don’t think I’ve done anything exceptional. I’ve just tried to do the best I can – and I have really quite enjoyed it!
The award was presented to Andrew in a small ceremony at the Whiteleaf Centre by Dr Ben Riley, Managing Director for Primary and Community Care Services, and Jacky McKenna, service user governor for Buckinghamshire and other counties.
Andrew had been nominated by Paul Wells, Acting Buckinghamshire Recovery College Lead. Both the winner and the nominator were all the more astonished when Ben Riley revealed that Andrew had been chosen from over 50 nominations. Governor Jacky McKenna said:
“It was a really difficult selection, but Andrew’s nomination really stood out. For me it was also about the whole impact of Bucks Recovery College on people’s recovery, helping people build confidence and develop social skills. The College and Andrew are so deserving of recognition.”
“You can both be truly proud,” Ben Riley noted as he read out the nomination. It explained that Andrew, a mental health nurse, joined the college when he was shielding due to COVID-19. He had to quickly adapt to his new role and new way of working. The nomination praised:
“Andrew’s contribution to the college has been hugely significant, making a difference to students’ lives and he has recently co-produced a new course for this coming term. Andrew has demonstrated resilience and courage in adapting to his new role.
“He is kind, compassionate and caring, and has a strong work ethic. Andrew helps ensure that welfare of staff, students and carers is paramount, and that the college is a safe place. Andrew’s interventions are timely and effective. Andrew is an inspiration to all involved in the college. He has triumphed in the face of adversity and is an advert of hope and recovery.”
Andrew has greatly enjoyed his new challenges at the Recovery College, to the extent he found it almost embarrassing to be recognised for something he enjoys so much!
“I have been a nurse since 2003 so to have this change and the opportunity to be challenged and learn new skills is so, so good. Everyone should have that opportunity,” he said.
The nominations for the individual Exceptional People Award are judged monthly by a panel from Oxford Health’s Council of Governors, representing public, service users and carers across the Trust geography. Led by lead governor Mike Hobbs (Public, Oxfordshire), they are Jacky McKenna (Servicer User, Bucks), Jonathan Cole (Service User, Oxon), Nyarai Humba (Carer) and Anna Gardner (Public Bucks).
The winner receives a trophy, a signed certificate and a £50 gift voucher.
Each month the governor panel also choose two highly commended individuals. For October they are Fiona Singleton, Immunisation Operational Manager and Debbie Hurry, Wiltshire Mental Health Support Team Manager.
Nominations for Exceptional People Awards are welcome from staff, service users, patients, or friends and family of service users and patients. You can nominate any individual or any team as everyone and every team has a crucial role in delivering caring, safe and excellent health care.
The cut-off date for nominations for this month is November 22. So nominate someone now! You can find the nomination forms here.
Nominations are accepted at any time so if your submission misses a certain month’s cut-off date, it will be automatically put forward for the following month.
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Published: 18 November 2021