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The Michael Varnam Awards 2019 – Health & Wellbeing Board
  • The Michael Varnam Awards 2019

    Awards honour those who help others in Nottingham

    The winners have been announced in awards designed to honour people in Nottingham who strive to improve the health and wellbeing of others.

    Finalists of the Michael Varnam Awards were invited to a special ceremony at The Council House.

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

    Nominations were made by the public in two categories: individual and group.

    Individual Award Winner: Aleks Jackowska

    Cllr Campbell-Clark and Aleks Jackowska

    Aleks has been volunteering with the Jigsaw Youth Club in Lenton for over 20 years, helping to provide activities for young people with a high functioning autism spectrum condition. The young people she works with are often vulnerable members of society, and Aleks’ volunteering enables them to take part in weekly youth sessions, taking them on trips to various locations and helping to educate them and grow as people.

    • Aleks challenges young people to work, play and learn outside their comfort zones.
    • Aleks also runs the café and coffee bar inside the Jigsaw Youth Club.
    • She gives long term practical help by encouraging them to take part in training that enhances their knowledge and skills, and provides them with a greater understanding of their world and their environment.

    Group Award Winner: Café Sobar

    Cllr Campbell-Clark and Graham Miller (Cafe Sobar)

    Café Sobar is a social enterprise run by Double Impact, a service that works to support people in recovery from substance abuse and alcoholism. Embedded as part of Nottingham’s growing café culture, at first glance in simply a modern café set in the heart of the city, it provides a number of important functions. It is an alcohol-free premises and this means that people who do not want to be around alcohol for a variety of reasons can enjoy a great atmosphere with their friends, family and community.

    • Café Sobar’s profits go to Double Impact, providing people with the opportunity to volunteer, receive training, and also to enter employment. Offers the chance to rebuild people’s lives by providing those crucial steps that are so critical to any individual’s recovery.
    • The venue welcomes a variety of community groups and also supports cultural events, doing its part to contribute to our city’s growing reputation as a centre for literature and the arts.

    The other shortlisted finalists were:

    Individual award:

    • Valentine Nkoyo – raises awareness of Female Genital Mutilation so that survivors can receive the right support and new cases can be prevented.
    • Louise Wilkins – manager of Nottingham’s drug and alcohol services and has been an important figure in Nottingham’s drug and alcohol services for many years.

    Group award:

    • Imara – supports children, teenagers and families in Nottingham  following a disclosure or discovery of child sexual abuse.
    • Nyasa Daughters of Nottingham – a local community group in St Ann’s run by women from Malawi. Having set out to provide help for the disadvantaged and vulnerable members of their own community, their support and scope has grown and now they help anyone in need in their local area no matter where they come from.
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