Isle of Wight LINk Community Care Heroes were amongst the many award winners recognised at the NHS Isle Of Wight ‘Celebrating Excellence And Innovation In Healthcare’ Awards held on Wednesday, 6th Oct at Medina Theatre.
This newly established category was integrated into the NHS Isle of Wight Awards for the first time this year and gave the public the opportunity to nominate those ‘unsung’ heroes who provide health and social care to those in their community.
Paddy Noctor, Isle of Wight Stewardship Group Vice-Chair said: “The Isle of Wight LINk is delighted to have been part of this excellent evening celebrating the best in healthcare on the Island and were particularly pleased to present awards in the publicly nominated LINk Community Care Hero category, applauding the three winners: John Phillips, Kim Cox and Lillian Burden and her team at Chatters Café who go the extra mile to provide health and social care services to those around them.”
Kim Cox, award winner set up the ‘Come and Have Fun’ group to help young adults with disabilities make new friends and meet up with old ones following the closure of local facilities which served as a meeting place for these young adults. The club offers snooker, WII board games music, art, and karaoke and the chance for young adults to spend time together in a relaxed atmosphere. Kim’s long term vision is to provide an opportunity for them to form lasting friendships.
Kim said: “I thoroughly enjoy my work with Come and Have Fun and am stunned and delighted that I have received an award for doing something I so enjoy and value. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the other volunteers for their time and dedication.
Isle of Wight County Press Editor and Isle of Wight LINk Community Care Hero Judge, Alan Marriott said:
“Kim is obviously a woman who has a lot to deal with in her own home but sees beyond that to set up an enterprise which can help people in similar situations. We were impressed with the fact this will help people at a time when personal budgets are making life uncertain for those with social need.”
The judges were delighted to give John Phillips an award for his work with John’s Club, a well respected and established Island Charity that offers a wide and diverse range of activities to vulnerable children, teenagers and adults with learning and/or physical disabilities and mental health problems.
Claire Willis, Station Director of Isle of Wight Radio and Isle of Wight LINk Community Care Hero Award Judge said: “I felt that John reflects the true meaning of 'Community Hero, he works selflessly to help others with the smallest of things that make such a difference to someone’s everyday life. From the little I know about John I can tell he gets his reward by making others happy and that in itself is very refreshing in this day and age.”
John said: “I was absolutely thrilled to receive this award; it is through all of the support and hard work of all of the staff and volunteers at John’s Club that have allowed us to receive this award. “We are constantly striving to improve and expand our services. Our members and the vulnerable people in our community need more support and help than ever before, with the changes in the health and disability care sector and the difficult times that lay ahead. We are striving to raise awareness and funds to provide a day care centre for vulnerable people as other day centres are closing and we fear these essential services will not be there in the future.”
A surprise third prize was included by the judges who presented a Highly Commended Award for the outstanding work of Lillian Burden and her team at Chatters Café, George Street Centre, Ryde.
This team provide an excellent service within the local community. The centre is open 6 days a week and provides hot drinks, snacks and light lunches for a number of groups in the community who use the centre including mother and toddler, Friend to Friend for older people, bridge, and scrabble clubs and painting classes as well as mothers using the Sure Start centre located at the rear of the George Street Centre. A number of homeless people use the centre as it is so reasonably priced and sometimes those in desperate need are fed for free. Many of the users of the café are elderly and attend regularly making the café an important part of the community and of people’s social life.
The centre is staffed by mostly volunteers from the community including a number with learning difficulties for whom the work is an important part of their involvement in society and gives them a real sense of purpose.
Claire Willis, Station Director of Isle of Wight Radio and Isle of Wight LINk Community Care Hero Award Judge said: “The team at Chatters Cafe are a true example of being at the heart of the community and the service they provide is welcomed by so many, from hot meals to warm conversation Lillian and her team really do Ryde proud.”
Lillian Burden, Manager of Chatters Café said: “It was a great honour to receive this award, but I would like to thank all of the team of volunteers who willingly give of their time. We could not run this café without them and a special thanks to Joan who aged 88, still comes in regularly to help.”
Around 400 people, including NHS staff, sponsors, partners and members of the local community attended this memorable evening honouring deserving winners in eight NHS Isle of Wight ‘Celebrating Excellence and Innovation’ categories and the three winners, nominated by the public, for the Isle of Wight LINk Community Care Hero Awards. The Isle of Wight LINk Community Care Hero Awards were sponsored by the Isle of Wight Radio and the Isle of Wight County Press.
You can read more about the awards at http://www.iow.nhs.uk/index.asp?record=1388