A final call has been made for unsung heroes, who have made a difference to the lives of people with mental health issues, to be nominated for prestigious regional awards.
More than 40 nominations have already been received by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) for 12 categories in the third annual Thrive Mental Health Star Awards, which will take place in January 2020, celebrating individuals and organisations that go the extra mile to make a difference to people’s lives.
Categories include individuals and organisations from each area of the region with awards also for a young person (aged 16-25), employer, sport and physical activity. There is also a new award named after the late Cariss Evans, in recognition of the many exceptional contributions she made while working with the Black country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Previous winner Joe Lockley and Bright Star Boxing Club colleagues celebrate winning a 2019 Thrive Mental Health Award
Cariss, who died from a brain tumour aged 33 in 2018, was posthumously awarded a Thrive award at the 2019 ceremony in January, and the accolade in her name is for people who demonstrate similar dedication in finding ways to support young people’s mental health through innovation and research.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, leader of Warwickshire County Council and WMCA portfolio holder for wellbeing, said: “The awards are a wonderful chance to recognise individuals and organisations that go the extra mile in helping those with mental ill health and in promoting wellbeing.
“The deadline is quickly approaching but there is still chance for people to nominate a friend, relative, work colleague, carer or health professional, an individual or someone representing a group or company for one of these awards.”
Previous winners include Bedazzle, working with vulnerable pupils in Black Country schools and the Bright Star Boxing Academy, making a difference to young people affected by depression, anxiety, offending behaviour and substance abuse in Shifnal.
Ben Cole, from Bedazzle, said: “We believe the Thrive awards are great for giving recognition to those organisations that are bringing innovation to the communities they serve in terms of Mental Health and Wellbeing.
“The fact the awards come from the WMCA, means when we are approaching new partners there is a stamp of confidence in our work and similarly, we have utilised the mark of approval when approaching funders.”
People are urged to find out more and nominate someone for a Mental Health Star award at https://www.wmca.org.uk/thriveawards by Sunday 3 November.
Shortlisted nominees will be invited to an awards’ ceremony on Wednesday 29 January 2020 at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich Albion Football Club.