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Hereford mental health support worker awarded
1:02pm Tuesday 10th December 2013 in News
A HEREFORD mental health support worker has won an award for his service and contribution to care.
Michael Humphries won the CEO’s award for innovation at 2gether NHS Foundation Trust’s annual Recognising Outstanding Service and Contribution Awards (ROSCAs) last Friday (December 6).
Michael, who works for the Trust’s Herefordshire Assertive Outreach Team, also won the award last year.
Judges chose him this year for his work in setting up links with Hereford and Worcester Animal Rescue, enabling service users to visit the centre once a week to take the dogs out for walks.
Mike spent a year volunteering at the dog rescue centre before establishing the group.
He said: “It started off by taking a small group of service users who had expressed an interest in the centre to walk the dogs currently being housed there awaiting re-homing. The group soon expanded, which meant that another member of staff, Su Edwards, became involved so as to support the growing numbers.”
Mike said that service users who attend are ‘relaxed and happy’ while at the centre, and appear to ‘share a genuine affinity with the dogs’.
The walking also provides physical activity, along with an opportunity for social interaction.
Mike added: “Members of the group follow the progress of the individual dogs and always express their pleasure on hearing of a successful re-homing. In fact, some of the clients have also adopted dogs from the centre and have reported how they have found this to be beneficial to their mental wellbeing.”
The ROSCAs are held annually to pay tribute to staff, service users, volunteers and carers involved in mental and social healthcare across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.
Another Herefordshire nominee was Jacqueline Thomas, who was put forward in the unsung hero category and has been a volunteer for more than five years with Herefordshire Mental Health Services.
Andrew Swithenbank, from Oak House, Hereford, was also nominated for the best supporting colleague award and Tim Wallin from Etnam Street, Leominster, was nominated for the best supporting manager.
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