Mental health awards night for Norfolk and Waveney staff

PUBLISHED: 11:00 26 March 2011

Former Norwich City footballer Darren Huckerby with Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Trust award winners.

Former Norwich City footballer Darren Huckerby with Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Trust award winners.


The exceptional efforts of staff working with people with mental health problems have been celebrated at an awards night.

Winners of the awards

Unsung hero (clinical) – Julie Kerton, staff nurse, Poppies Day Hospital

Unsung hero (non-clinical) – Sharon Freeman, head housekeeper, Norvic Clinic

Light bulb award – Keith Marriott, support worker

Exceptional contribution – Angela Grange, community mental health nurse

Success in partnership working – Great Yarmouth Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

Valuing Diversity – George Pearce, deputy service manager, Central Norfolk Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

Team of the Year – Memory Treatment Team, Waveney

Leadership and motivation – Homayoun Sepehrara, ward manager at Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit, Hellesdon Hospital.

Outstanding community contribution – Malcolm Bedingfield, public governor

Chairman’s award – Linda Cross, locality personal assistant, Chatterton House

Darren Huckerby was the star guest as 300 staff from Norfolk’s mental health trust celebrated their own and their colleagues’ achievements at an awards dinner.

The popular former Norwich City footballer presented the trophies as Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust held its trust awards 2011 at the Sprowston Manor Marriott Hotel.

The 10 award winners were each selected from a shortlist of three. Winners ranged from administrative staff to a five-strong memory treatment team, and the inspiration behind a music project for people with mental health problems.

Julie Kerton, staff nurse at the Poppies Day Centre, at Carlton Court, near Lowestoft, won the unsung hero (clinical) award for her work in setting up a support group for people diagnosed with dementia, and launching a lifetime garden to help stimulate the memories of dementia sufferers.

“I’m really overwhelmed,” she said. “What makes it extra special was feeling so much support, especially from three gentlemen who have dementia who came here with me tonight. They’re the reason I do the job that I do, and I’m as pleased for them as I am for myself because they value and appreciate what I do. I feel very honoured.”

“I was very pleased to be invited,” said Mr Huckerby. “The trust is doing great work in mental health, which is an area that often gets overlooked. A lot of people put it on the backburner, and it only comes to the forefront when someone close to them is struggling with a mental illness, or Alzheimer’s, or some other form of dementia.”

Homayoun Sepehrara won the leadership and motivation award for his work as ward manager and supporting the team of staff at the Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit at Hellesdon Hospital.

He said he had been able to choose staff as the new unit was built and particularly tried to focus on 
creating a team of people with positive attitudes and an anti-stigma ethos.

He said: “The team really is the best I have worked with during my career – they really value each of our clients.” The trust’s second awards night, funded entirely through sponsors, followed on from a successful inaugural event in 2009.

Chief executive Aidan Thomas said: “I’m very proud to be part of such an excellent organisation, and that’s a reflection on the quality of our staff. This evening is about recognising how much our people contribute to the lives of others, and saying ‘thank you’ to those who go out of their 
way to improve the lives of other people.”

The awards were sponsored by Birketts, Eras, Falcon Healthcare, HCL Doctors, the Locum Practice, Mills and Reeve, ProMedical, Psychiatry People and Pulse 

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