Awards seek to recognise those who help others in Nottingham

Nominations are being sought to recognise the efforts of people in Nottingham who strive to improve the health and wellbeing of others.

The Michael Varnam Awards 2017 will particularly champion those who work tirelessly in the city’s more disadvantaged communities.

They take their name from former Sneinton GP Dr Michael Varnam who dedicated 35 years to helping people in Nottingham, particularly residents and families in deprived areas. He died in 2006, aged 61.

The awards are organised jointly by Nottingham City Council, Nottingham City Health and Wellbeing Board, NHS Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), One Nottingham and the Youth Parliament.

Councillor Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Health at Nottingham City Council and Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “Nottingham is a fantastic city full of good people who look out for each other. In many cases this help is given quietly and without fuss – making a huge difference to the lives of those in need.

“Nobody embodied this philosophy more than Michael Varnam. He dedicated more than three decades of his life to helping people and families from areas of the city which face the biggest challenges.

“We know many people are following in his footsteps and giving up their time to help others. If you know of a person, or group of people, who embodies this kind of selfless commitment, we’d like to hear from you.”

The awards will have two categories – individual and group – and nominations are now open. Entries can be submitted until 11.59pm on Friday 1 September

The winner and runner-up will be decided by a judging panel consisting of representatives from the CCG, Health and Wellbeing Board, One Nottingham and Youth Parliament, plus the city’s Director of Public Health, Alison Challenger.

Alison Challenger said: “Michael Varnam was very well known among the communities that he served. He was respected and admired in equal measure within Nottingham’s healthcare community, not least for the work he did to improve the health and wellbeing of so many vulnerable people.

“With these awards which carry his name, we want to recognise the efforts and dedication of others like him, who give up so much of their time to make other people’s lives better. In keeping with Michael’s own focus, this could be the care of those with substance misuse problems, but can be any field where help, care and support are offered.”

The awards were re-launched last year and the winners were:

  • Louise Detain, a foster carer who is heavily involved with a number of community projects including a children’s choir and a support group for people affected by domestic violence
  • Nottinghamshire Deaf Wellbeing Action Group which provides practical help and campaigns for rights of the deaf community, and educates people in British Sign Language

Dr Hugh Porter, Chair and Clinical Lead at NHS Nottingham City CCG, said: “Michael was an inspirational doctor and incredibly well-liked by colleagues and patients alike.  He made a real difference to so many local people.

“His legacy of compassion and a ‘hands-on’ approach is continued through so many people across our city. These awards are about making sure that they feel encouraged by members of the local health and care community and are rewarded for the contribution they are making to a healthier Nottingham.”

People can nominate themselves, an individual or group within health, social care, voluntary, community or business sectors for a special contribution over the past year. Forms can be filled out online at http://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/publichealth

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