On June 22nd, we held our 6th annual Cavell Awards ceremony, celebrating the best and brightest in UK nursing and midwifery talent.
With 10 awards in total, our awards programme celebrates a wide range of nursing fields including nursing overseas, students, care for older people and army reserve nurses.
There was also an award celebrating special achievement within nursing and we were proud to award this to Mandy Stevens, a senior mental health nurse, for using her own mental health crisis to encourage others to seek help.
Life was great for Mandy until in 2016, after almost 30 years working in mental health services, including as a director of nursing for two large mental health trusts, she experienced a crisis from the other side of the fence:
“I found myself suffering from a severe depression, which came from out of the blue and left me frightened, disabled, suicidal and incapacitated. I hid myself away, scared of my own shadow and I told very few people about what was happening to me. This is what mental illness has the power to do.”
10 days later Mandy was admitted to an in-patient unit. The journey that followed was tough, but as Mandy worked towards recovery with the support of her healthcare team, she resolved to share her experience in an effort to show that mental health difficulties can strike anyone at any time. Despite being severely depressed, due to Mandy’s clinical experience she knew she would make a full recovery:
“I chose to share my story on social media because I wanted people to see that even happy, confident, successful people are not immune to the effects of mental illness. I wanted other people to realise that mental ill health can strike any of us, without warning. It is nothing to be ashamed of, and the support that’s out there really can make a difference. The first step is to be brave and ask for help.”
The ceremony took place in front of a packed audience of nurses, midwives and healthcare leaders at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in Central London.
Cavell Nurses' Trust Twitter was busy all evening with attendees, friends, family and colleagues following the action on #CavellAwards:
Cavell Nurses’ Trust Chairman Simon Knighton said: “The Cavell Nurses’ Trust Awards helps us be here for nurses and midwives, either by supporting them when they face hardship or by celebrating the amazing work that they do every day.
“We’d like to thank the generous organisations that sponsored our awards and lent their time and expertise to ensure the awards are a fitting tribute to the passion and commitment of all our finalists.”
The Cavell Nurses’ Trust awards are made possible by a number of sponsors that give their time and support to the scheme: NEXT PLC, The Belgian Embassy in the UK, NHS Professionals, NHS Improvement, Alexandra, National Garden Scheme, RCN Foundation, Queen Alexandra Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC), The UK Nursing and Midwifery Social Media Leaders, Mark Allen Group and International Medical Corps UK.
Winners on the night included:
Excellence in Care for Older People Team Award
Winner: The Beeches Care Management Team, Signature at The Beeches
Excellence in Care for Older People Individual Award
Winner: Geraldine Rodgers, BHR University Hospitals NHS Trust & NELFT NHS Foundation Trust
Chairman’s Award for International Impact
Joint Runners Up: Col Kevin Davies, University of South Wales and Major Debbie Grafton, 202 Field Hospital
Winner: Fiona Stephenson, Livability Spinal Injury Centre
Outstanding QARANC Reservist Clinical Professional Development Award
Runner Up: Capt Janet Jordan, 208 Field Hospital
Winner: Sgt Rebecca Warren, 202 Field Hospital
Jean Atkinson MBE Award for Outstanding Healthcare Assistant
Runner Up: Emma Gibney, Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital
Winner: Stephanie Morris, Ashworth Hospital
Special Achievement Award Presentation
Awarded to Mandy Stevens
Runner Up: Freya Sewell, Edinburgh Napier University
Winner: Sabrina Ffrench, University of Wolverhampton
Outstanding Academic Achievement Award
Runner Up: Eleanor Cramer, Anglia Ruskin University
Winner: Marina Down, King's College London
Outstanding Student Midwife Award
Runner Up: Gemma Sidor, Liverpool John Moores University
Winner: Katharine Siobhan Pearson, King's College London
Outstanding Student Nurse Award
Runner Up: Kate Boulton, The University of Manchester
Winner: Sarah Tipping, University of Southampton
Edith Cavell Leadership Award
Highly Commended Certificate: Kim Howson, University of East Anglia
Runner Up: Georgina Ledwith, Buckinghamshire New University
Winner: Lily Parham, King's College London