13 June 2018
Top honour for mental health worker
A mental health worker from the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health
Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust has been recognised in the Queen's
Stephen Holmes, who is a Health Care Assistant with AWP's
Swindon Intensive Team, has been named as a recipient of a British
Empire Medal (BEM) for his work in developing a football team for
people with mental health problems.
He has worked with Swindon Town Football Club to set up and
co-run a weekly group for service users, which promotes social
inclusion and physical health.
Over 20 service users are now involved in the programme.
Speaking about his BEM, Stephen said: "It is a huge honour to be
recognised for my work with this programme. I have always played
football and felt that through my work I would be able to help
people with mental health problems. As well as physical exercise,
which can improve your mental health, the programme also promotes
recovery and hope and a sense of belonging. It also acts as a peer
support group for the participants and for some has led to full
time paid work, education and volunteer opportunities. Many people
with mental health problems can often feel alone and isolated so
having something they can feel part of is hugely beneficial."
AWP's Operations Manager for Swindon, Newlands Anning, said: "We
are delighted that Stephen has received a British Empire Medal. He
is recognised in Swindon as extremely passionate about his work and
always goes above and beyond for those in his care. This is an
extremely prestigious honour and we are so pleased that his hard
work and dedication has been recognised at such a high level."
The British Empire Medal (BEM) was established in 1922 to
replace the Medal of the Order of the British Empire. It is a
British medal awarded for meritorious civil or military service
worthy of recognition by the Crown.
Stephen Holmes BEM