Mental health and contaminated blood campaigns up for national award - and we need your vote

Annie Walker, who was given contaminated blood in a transfusion in the 1970s. Picture by SIMON FINLA

Annie Walker, who was given contaminated blood in a transfusion in the 1970s. Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Two of our campaigns has been nominated for an award recognising the power of regional newspapers to lobby for positive change - and your votes are needed if they are to win.

Both the Mental Health Watch and the contaminated blood campaigns, run by our Investigations Unit, have been shortlisted for the Making a Difference award at the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards, which will be decided by a public vote.

We are asking readers to support the EDP and Norwich Evening News, and more importantly those who have so bravely spoken out to campaign for justice, by voting for us.

Our mental health campaign was launched in October last year to try and increase awareness of the problem, reduce the stigma and fight for improved services.

Since then more than 100 stories have been produced and our We Mind campaign recently helped ensure the resurrection of a vital phone line.

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We have also called for justice for victims of the contaminated blood scandal and over the last year this newspaper has reported on the stories of local people who were infected with HIV and hepatitis C (hep C) in the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.

They include Norwich woman Annie Walker, who recently lost her life after being infected during a blodd transfusion.

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We have backed calls for a fairer system of support for the 7,500 people nationwide whose health has been ruined and compensation for the families of the 2,000 who have died.

Sue Threakall, of the campaign group Tainted Blood, said: 'The dedication and compassion you have shown in your coverage of the contaminated blood scandal has been outstanding, and truly has made a difference to the lives of victims who feel that they now have a voice.'

The polls open today and the winner will be announced at the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards this Friday.

To vote for either campaigns, visit

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