Many thanks to Cheryl from Isle of Wight LINk for details of the Community Care Heroes awards that took place last Wednesday. Ed
Isle of Wight LINk Community Care Heroes were amongst the many award winners recognised at the NHS Isle Of Wight ‘Celebrating Excellence And Innovation In Healthcare’ Awards held on Wednesday, 6th Oct at Medina Theatre.
This newly established category was integrated into the NHS Isle of Wight Awards for the first time this year and gave the public the opportunity to nominate those ‘unsung’ heroes who provide health and social care to those in their community.
Paddy Noctor, Isle of Wight Stewardship Group Vice-Chair said, “The Isle of Wight LINk is delighted to have been part of this excellent evening celebrating the best in healthcare on the Island and were particularly pleased to present awards in the publicly nominated LINk Community Care Hero category, applauding the three winners: John Phillips, Kim Cox and Lillian Burden and her team at Chatters Cafe who go the extra mile to provide health and social care services to those around them.”
Come and have fun
Kim Cox, award winner set up the ‘Come and Have Fun’ group to help young adults with disabilities make new friends and meet up with old ones following the closure of local facilities which served as a meeting place for these young adults.
The club offers snooker, WII board games music, art, and karaoke and the chance for young adults to spend time together in a relaxed atmosphere. Kim’s long term vision is to provide an opportunity for them to form lasting friendships.Â
Kim said, “I thoroughly enjoy my work with Come and Have Fun and am stunned and delighted that I have received an award for doing something I so enjoy and value. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the other volunteers for their time and dedication.”
The judges were delighted to give John Phillips an award for his work with John’s Club, a well respected and established Island Charity that offers a wide and diverse range of activities to vulnerable children, teenagers and adults with learning and/or physical disabilities and mental health problems.Â
John said, “I was absolutely thrilled to receive this award; it is through all of the support and hard work of all of the staff and volunteers at John’s Club that have allowed us to receive this award.
“We are constantly striving to improve and expand our services. Our members and the vulnerable people in our community need more support and help than ever before, with the changes in the health and disability care sector and the difficult times that lay ahead. We are striving to raise awareness and funds to provide a day care centre for vulnerable people as other day centres are closing and we fear these essential services will not be there in the future.”
Chatters helping the community
A surprise third prize was included by the judges who presented a Highly Commended Award for the outstanding work of Lillian Burden and her team at Chatters Cafe, George Street Centre, Ryde.
This team provide an excellent service within the local community.
The centre is open six days a week and provides hot drinks, snacks and light lunches for a number of groups in the community who use the centre including mother and toddler, Friend to Friend for older people, bridge, and scrabble clubs and painting classes as well as mothers using the Sure Start centre located at the rear of the George Street Centre.
A number of homeless people use the centre as it is so reasonably priced and sometimes those in desperate need are fed for free. Many of the users of the cafe are elderly and attend regularly making the cafe an important part of the community and of people’s social life.
The centre is staffed by mostly volunteers from the community including a number with learning difficulties for whom the work is an important part of their involvement in society and gives them a real sense of purpose.
Lillian Burden, Manager of Chatters Cafe said, “It was a great honour to receive this award, but I would like to thank all of the team of volunteers who willingly give of their time. We could not run this cafe without them and a special thanks to Joan who aged 88, still comes in regularly to help.”