Volunteer of the year
Individual or Team Nomination?
In these challenging times, nominators were asked to show how the nominee had demonstrated the following qualities:
- Exceptional work ethic - going above and beyond their job description, especially in the past 12 months.
- Outstanding achievement/s in work or outside of the organisation where relevant.
- Drive for innovation and proactive leadership in these challenging times.
- High level of interpersonal skills, such as kindness, empathy, loyalty and thoughtfulness to staff and patients.
- A resilience considering Covid to their role and to the health and wellbeing of their colleagues.
Nominee's story :
Hikmat is an exceptional human being and one of the most dedicated, hardworking, inspirational, and innovative volunteers the Perinatal Mental Health Service has ever had. Her passion for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion goes beyond words, sticking to her authentic self and values of creating a world where no parent should suffer in silence and should not be ashamed to seek help for their mental health, Hikmat’s achievements over the past 2 years have been outstanding and certainly made a difference towards helping our service to improve maternal mental health outcomes for our diverse patients and diverse communities.
Hikmat grew up in an Arab culture, originating from Lebanon having lived all over the world, she moved over to the UK a few years ago. During her 2nd pregnancy she was referred to the perinatal mental health service in Leeds, where she and her husband received support from the service. On her road to recovery, Hikmat was very eager to volunteer for the service and support other mum’s who were experiencing similar perinatal difficulties as she wanted to give them hope and empower others not to give up, knowing the difficult journey ahead but also acknowledging there is a beautiful light at the end of the road.
Hikmat’s support has been extremely powerful and life changing for so many of our patients and members of our local diverse communities, as she’s actively been involved in various innovative pieces of work to help raise awareness of perinatal difficulties, break down cultural stigma, challenge bias behaviours and share her lived experience with the world.
Hikmat has been involved in lots of community engagement work such as speaking to local faith leaders in Mosques and Sikh Gurdwaras, sharing her lived experience at mental health workshops within these faith settings with members of the congregation, encouraging open conversations & breaking the stigma by advocating for many women who look like her to seek help and not to feel ashamed. Hikmat has also been involved in various media work such as writing blogs about her perinatal journey, creating videos to raise awareness, podcasts, interviews with BBC Asian Network and also took part in a perinatal commercial video which now features in local GP practices to help raise awareness amongst the local community. It also featured on a large screen in a shopping center in Leeds.
Hikmat’s amazing work continues as she has been involved in coproduction work designing a perinatal leaflet to go into maternity packs for pregnant women which was created jointly with the perinatal service and maternity services. She also co designed the Diverse Mums’ Group leaflet as well as co-facilitating the Diverse Mums’ Group alongside the Clinical Inclusion Coordinator. Hikmat helped improve patient self-confidence/self-esteem as the mum’s related to her.
Hikmat has spoken at various mental health events within the NHS and at National Events to help health professionals understand the importance of providing equitable care for all their patients especially for those communities who are underrepresented and at most disadvantaged to inequality.