Winners of our mental health awards announced!
Digital team's blog
The 2016 winners of the Janey Antoniou Award, and the Pringle Awards for members of Rethink Mental Illness were announced at National Members Day in Birmingham on November 12. Members heard speeches from Jacqui Dyer, vice chair of the Mental Health Taskforce and Professor Barbara Sahakian from the University of Cambridge talking about her brain training app for people with schizophrenia, as well as taking part in workshops on campaigning, fundraising and wellbeing.
Check out the video highlights from Members Day below.
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The Janey Antoniou Award recognises the contribution of exceptional people who have worked to raise awareness of mental illness, and to improve how people with mental illness are treated in the UK. The award was announced at our National Members Day, alongside our prestigious awards for members only, the Pringle Awards.
Congratulations to the winner Tamanna Miah!
Tamanna, from Sevenoaks, Kent, received the award in recognition of her exceptional and inspirational dedication to raising awareness of the realities of living with mental illness, combating stigma and campaigning for better care. Tamanna, 23, developed anxiety and depression after experiencing bullying, islamophobia and racism at school.
Over the last 12 years, she has turned her own experiences of stigma and discrimination into the driving force behind her campaigning, tirelessly challenging attitudes despite her own struggles with mental illness.
Tamanna said: “I started campaigning, volunteering, and speaking out about a range of issues over 12 years ago because I really care about people, and I want to see a society where everyone is accepted and valued for who they are. I am determined to give a voice to the voiceless, and I see campaigning and speaking publicly about issues such as mental illness, as a way to do that. For me, this is now just a normal part of my life, it’s what I live and breathe. It has changed my life and I hope, helped many others along the way. Through my volunteering I meet so many people that struggle with their own physical and mental health, and this award is for them too.
"I’ve been through tough times in my life, experiencing bullying, racism and islamaphobia at school, coping with severe anxiety and depression whilst growing up, and dealing with the stigma often attached to mental health problems. However, these experiences are a driving force behind my work, and I hope it encourages others to not feel deterred by set backs in their lives. I want to show people that despite having negative experiences it is not too late to turn your life around and turn it into a positive - there is light at the end of the tunnel."
“I feel honoured and humbled to receive this award, but I really feel that I’m just scratching the surface on what can, and needs to be done. Speaking out about mental health really has changed my life and I hope it has helped others too.”
The standard of nominations was incredibly high this year, so a special mention goes to Jake Mills & Caroline Harroe who were finalists.
The Pringle Awards
Every year, Rethink Mental Illness also celebrate the members of the charity who are going the extra mile to improve the lives of people with mental health.
Congratulations to the 2016 winners!
Group of the year – York Group
Group Co-ordinator: John Bettridge
Group member Viv Tomei says:
"We run a monthly social for people who have experienced mental illness and a carers support group which also meets monthly.
We are thrilled to get the award. It will give a great boost to everyone and especially our volunteers who give so much time to the group."
Service of the year – Willow Lodge Supported Housing Service
Service Manager: David Rains MBE (centre)
Willow Lodge Supported Housing Service impressed the judges with its friendly atmosphere and the positive interaction between staff and tenants. People see it as more than just a supported housing service, offering a real community feel.
The manager David Rains' person-centred approach to care is evident in the way he and staff know individuals' likes, dislikes, goals and ambitions. People feel they go above and beyond by offering emotional, social and direct welfare support. In the last year, every tenant who moved on to independent living from Willow Lodge has maintained that independent living.
Member of the year – Debbie Preston
"I was overwhelmed and very humbled to hear I had won the award, there are so many people out there doing good things. To be chosen as the winner is a great honour.
My involvement with Rethink began in 2012 during my sons illness. Valerie our group coordinator at the Lancashire Carers Support Group, and group meetings have helped me immensely. I wanted to give something back so I became group Treasurer, I have organised functions, fundraisers, and basically try to support Valerie where possible with her many commitments."
Debbie is Group Treasurer and provides invaluable support to keep the group running smoothly and the finances in order, always completing tasks efficiently in good time. She also supports the Rethink East Lancs Activities Group (service users). Debbie is always cheerful, immediately responsive to group members, empathic and supportive of those with problems, and gives a massive amount of her time both to the group and to involvement in local strategic meetings. She goes out of her way to give lifts to meetings for members who couldn’t otherwise get there.
Debbie has raised a lot of money for the group, particularly when she single- handedly organised a Ceilidh which was not only a great experience and escape for our members but made over £400 profit."
Bill Pringle award for poetry – Tony Fisher
Tony says: "In writing my poetry I try to explore many things, and in different styles - some is meant to be performed, some read on the page."
"I like play on words and alteration of meanings, and my poem LEAVES ON THE LINE was inspired by the view from my flat window of the seasons changing landscape.
I have lost a lot in my life through multiple bereavements and this and other events have caused anxieties, but there is always hope and a vision of a better future."
Bill Pringle award for art – shared between Christine Valentine and Paul Wilson.
By Christine Valentine
By Paul Wilson
Congratulations to all our winners!
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