The winners of the Michael Varnam Awards for 2018 have been announced and the recipients were honoured at a ceremony held at Nottingham City Council’s Loxley House headquarters.
These annual awards were established in 2007 in memory of former Sneinton GP, Dr Michael Varnam, who died in 2006 and who had dedicated 35 years to helping those in Nottingham, particularly residents and families in deprived areas. Wishing to honour his life and ideals, the awards are designed to recognise and celebrate those in Nottingham who strive to improve the health and wellbeing of others.
Nominations were made by the public in two categories – Individual and Group – and submitted to the judging panel, which was made up of:
During their consideration of each of the submissions in both categories, the judges used the following criteria:
Individual Award Winner: Gordon Garrick
Gordon Garrick has worked tirelessly in the substance misuse field for years and helped many people. Gordon works for the Nottingham Recovery Network and has inspired his colleagues with his dedication to his service users and his ability to work with a range of partners, including psychiatrists, social services, courts, judges, politicians, benefits panels and commissioners, to support those in his care.
Group Award Winner: Sit Up Shelter
The Sit Up Shelter helps homeless people in Nottingham. The Shelter opened in January 2018, working with partners to prevent rough sleeping at the start of one of the harshest cold spells in recent years. Run by volunteers working for the British Red Cross and with premises provided by Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, the shelter opened to homeless people whenever temperatures fell below freezing. People at risk of rough sleeping were given shelter and safety for that night, along with help to access more permanent help through the Street Outreach Team and Housing Aid.
The other shortlisted finalists were:
Speaking at the awards ceremony Alison Challenger, Director of Public Health in Nottingham, said: “Michael Varnam dedicated more than three decades of his life to helping people and families from areas of the city that face the biggest challenges. These awards recognise the efforts and dedication of others like him, who give up so much of their time to make other people’s lives better.”
Councillor Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Adults and Health at Nottingham City Council and Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “I’d like to congratulate Gordon, and the team behind the Sit Up Shelter. They are worthy winners – especially as the standard of nominations was very high this year. All of our finalists do so much to help others in our neighbourhoods and our communities – work that makes a huge difference to the lives of those in need. So often, this help is given without fuss and without recognition, so we feel it is important that we take this opportunity to highlight some of the amazing people who go the extra mile to improve lives.”
Further information about the awards can be found at: www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/publichealth