Service users, support staff and family from around the country gathered at Colwick Hall on 1st May to celebrate the important work they have each done in raising mental health awareness, reducing stigma and supporting people’s recovery journey.
Everyone enjoyed taking photos in the photo booth with all manner of silly hats and props, before taking their seat in the grand marquee to wait for the announcement of the winners.
The tables were decorated with beautiful centrepieces that had been made by service users at Rampton Hospital. The tables also had buttons for each service user to vote for their favourites in the service user choice vote. They chose between the runners up in each of the different categories, with one going through to the Service User Choice Award at the end of the ceremony.
Including the Service User Choice Award, we had six fantastic winners, who each showed their incredible passion for their project as they stood up and spoke on the stage. Our winners were:
- Raising Mental Health Awareness Award – ‘The Community Partnership Development Manager’ project at Cygnet Hospital Derby, part of Cygnet Health Care
- Health and Wellbeing Award – ‘The Cycling Towards Hope, Health and Happiness’ project at Rampton Hospital’s Diamond Resource Centre
- Recovery and the Arts Award – ‘The Recovery College – Learn to Play the Ukulele’ project at Cygnet Hospital Kewstoke, part of Cygnet Health Care
- Community and Education Projects Award – The ‘Another Day in Paradise’ project at Waterloo Manor, part of Inmind Healthcare
- Outstanding Service User Achievement Award – Bridie, a service user at the West London Forensic Service
- Service User Choice Award – ‘Exploring the Lived Experience of Women in Secure Care Services’
In between awards, the audience were treated to performances and stories from service users at different stages in their recovery journey. Hannah, Phoebe, Charlie, DuVonne and Cray each inspired the room with singing, guitar playing and rap, as well as a bit about their story.
Feedback from people who attended the awards was really positive; “The entertainment was amazing, goosebumps from each one”; “My favourite part was hearing service users speak passionately about their projects”; and “I loved listening to so many inspirational service user stories”.
We would like to say a big thank you to our judging panel from NHS England, Together for Mental Wellbeing and Rethink Mental Illness, as well as to our sponsor Cygnet Health Care.
Finally, we are sending a massive congratulations to all our finalists and winners. You should feel so proud of how your work is helping people on their journey towards recovery. We can’t wait for next year’s event to hear about more fantastic projects!