In an Olympic and Paralympic venue, with the games still fresh in people’s minds, we awarded our brightest stars of 2012 with their own gold, silver and bronze medals as part of our Staff Recognition Awards at our Annual Members’ Meeting at the O2 on Wednesday.
In front of a 600 strong audience, gold medal winning teams or individuals received £500, silver winners got £200 and bronze medal winners won £100. The awards were made in categories based on our six values with one additional category for Leading and inspiring.
You can see a full list of the medallists here. We received 311 nominations in total from service users, carers, members, staff and colleagues in partner organisations which made choosing the winners particularly hard.
The awards were judged by a panel including three of our governors; a non-executive director; Stephen Firn, Chief Executive; Keith Miller, Patient Experience Lead; Rachel Evans, Director of Estates and Facilities; and Lynda Town, Head of Operational HR. The Having a user focus - care and compassion category was judged by representatives from our User and Carer Council and Local Involvement Networks (LINks).
Attendees heard Conservative MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health, Charles Walker describe himself as a ‘fruitcake' as he talked about how he has lived with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) for more than 30 years.
The MP for Broxbourne in Hertfordshire was guest speaker at our Annual Members’ Meeting. He described the day on 14 June when, in the House of Commons, he first admitted to having a mental health problem as the day he came out. He said it had been liberating and told the audience: "If you are a politician, mental health problems are something that happen to other people. Now people thank me for giving them a voice."
Mr Walker said that he has had messages of support from all sorts of media types including a make-up artist, a producer and even an interviewer. He added that even the tabloid press had been supportive. He went on: "The media are beginning to realise they have been getting it wrong for the last 20 or 30 years and now things are changing."
The MP went on to describe how outdated some laws are that discriminate against people with mental health problems. He said he and other parliamentary colleagues are working on a Bill to change some of these unfair rules. He described it as wrong that a juror with mental health issues may not be able to serve on a jury – but a barrister or judge that might have mental health problems can continue to work.
At the end of his address Mr Walker took a few questions from the audience. He was asked how his parliamentary colleagues reacted to his revelations. He said: "They reacted very warmly and positively."
Our Chief Executive, Stephen Firn, called it a “powerful and life affirming performance”. He was referring to the amazing show put on by Life & Deaf.
Life & Deaf are a Greenwich based not-for-profit organisation which aims to improve the mental health of future generations of deaf adults. Their emotionally charged show gripped the IndigO2 audience which gave the performers rapturous applause.
The show involved a joint theatrical and film performance called ‘Life & Deaf 2: That’s not all of me’. The teenage cast explored their lives through poetry and sign language.
Everyone who completed a feedback form about our AMM went into a draw to win two tickets to a show of their choice (subject to availability) at IndigO2. We received a total of 169 completed feedback forms and the lucky winners were William and Jean McHardy from Sidcup.