Event champions celebrate
Wellbeing champions celebrated at annual awards
The top organisations and initiatives delivering projects to improve wellbeing in the region were recognised at the 2023 Kent Mental Wellbeing Awards.
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Thirty three winners and 15 champions from across Kent, Medway, Bexley and Bromley were announced at the ceremony held at Hempstead House, near Sittingbourne.
The event, staged by Mind in Bexley and East Kent, was hosted by Nicola Everett from kmfm and Simon Dolby from Mind in Bexley and East Kent, and featured VIP speaker Sir Terry Waite. Keynote speches were delivered by Dr Anjan Ghosh, Director of Public Health at Kent County Council, and Andrew Kennedy, Deputy Cabinet Member for Kent County Council.
The 15 Kent-wide Champions are:
- The Kent Wellbeing Activity Co-ordinator – NHS Staff Meditation Sessions at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
- The Kent Wellbeing Ambassador – Sarah Drage of Warriorkind
- Kent’s Business Wellbeing Champion – Dadspace CIC
- The Kent Communication Champions – Ricky Yates, Tyson Green, Sam Lester and Archie Cocker (4 Star Productions)
- The Kent Community Fundraiser – Rob Brady of Fight Train
- The Kent Innovation Champions – The Wellbeing Team at East Kent Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust
- The Kent Wellbeing Partnership Project – The Bexley Menopause Awareness Event
- The Kent Pastoral Care Champion – St Edmund’s Catholic School, Dover
- Kent’s Public Sector Wellbeing Champion – Natalie Elliott from Kent Fire and Rescue
- Kent’s Wellbeing Service Delivery Champion – The Octopus Foundation
- The Kent Counsellor of the Year – Abigail’s Footsteps
- The Kent Wellbeing Staff of the Year Award – Autism Apprentice CIC
- Kent’s Wellbeing Space of the Year – Communigrow
- The Kent Kindness in the Community Award – Helen Fisher, who volunteers with Snaap
- The 2023 Kent Mental Health Leader of the Year – Deborah Haylett: Revival Food & Mood
Sir Terry Waite
Nominations for the awards topped 230 this year and the nominees for each category were rigorously assessed and selected by a diverse panel, ensuring that only the most deserving recipients received an award. The judges included representatives of Kent County Council, Medway Council, Kent Community Foundation, Cactus Graphics, Grain LNG, MHA accountants, Optyma Security, Blessing by Ble, CommunityAd and ADM Computing.
Mind in Bexley and East Kent CEO, Dr David Palmer said: “Mental health support has never been more critical than it is today. The ongoing challenges brought about by the global pandemic coupled with the cost-of-living crisis, increase in poverty and financial stress have affected public mental health and are having a negative effect on resident’s ability to engage in some of the activities known to help protect mental health.
“These awards are a celebration of innovation and successful interventions and inspirational stories from organisations, services and individuals for their relentless work toward making a difference in their communities. These remarkable people have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the cause of mental health and their efforts are truly commendable. They have made a significant contribution in reducing stigma and improving mental health outcomes for countless individuals across Kent. They really do inspire us through their achievements and challenge us to make our own contribution towards a better community with better mental health for all”.
For a full list of the 33 winners, please visit:
To keep up to date with news on these important annual awards follow @KentMWAwards on Facebook or Twitter.