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The Michael Varnam Awards 2018 – Health & Wellbeing Board
  • The Michael Varnam Awards 2018

    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:

    • Director of Public Health, Nottingham City
    • NHS Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group representative
    • Health and Wellbeing Board representative
    • One Nottingham representative
    • Youth Parliament representative

     During their consideration of each of the submissions in both categories, the judges used the following criteria:

    • The nominee must have made a difference and/or impact to either the population as a whole or to a disadvantaged section of the Nottingham City community;
    • The nominee must have actively encouraged others to get involved in improving wellbeing in their community and reducing health inequality;
    • There must be evidence of how the contribution has been measured and the outcomes achieved.

    Individual Award Winner: Gordon Garrick

    Michael Varnam Awards 2018, 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

    Michael Varnam Awards 2018, 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:

    Individual award

    • Kate Smith, who works for Nottingham City Council to reduce smoking and increase smokefree spaces;
    • Maria Watson, who runs the Clifton Donation Group charity to help the underprivileged, the homeless, the elderly and many more.

    Michael Varnam Awards 2018, Shortlisted for Individual Award: Maria Watson

    Group award

    • Open Minds, which supports isolated disabled people by providing health and wellbeing activities.

    Michael Varnam Awards 2018, Shortlisted for Group Award: Open Minds

    • The Ferguson Family, who have spent years helping foster children and, using their own initiative and resources, have founded the My Bag charity.

    Michael Varnam Awards 2018, Shortlisted for Group Award: The Ferguson Family

    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:

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