06 March 2019
Mental health worker presented with top honour
A mental health worker from Avon and Wiltshire
Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust, who was recognised in
the Queen's Birthday Honours in June, has been presented with his
Stephen Holmes, who is a Health Care Assistant with AWP's
Swindon Intensive Team, was named as a recipient of a British
Empire Medal (BEM) for his work in developing a football team for
people with mental health problems.
On Monday 4 March Stephen was presented with his medal at
Salisbury Cathedral by Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Mrs Sarah Rose
Troughton, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.
Stephen has been instrumental in working with Swindon Town
Football Club's 'Football in the Community' programme to set up and
co-run a weekly football 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 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 volunteering opportunities. Many
people with mental health problems can often feel alone and
isolated so having something they can feel part of is hugely
AWP's Operations Manager for Swindon, Jason Everett, said: "We
are delighted that Stephen has received a British Empire Medal. He
is recognised in Swindon and across the Trust 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.