The Only National Awards For Non-Medical / Non-Clinical NHS Staff & Volunteers


Award Category:

Volunteer of the year

Individual or Team Nomination?


Qualifying Qualities

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.

Nominators Answer

Nominee's story :

I would like to nominate the East Midlands Lived Experience Panel. The panel is made up of 15 people with Lived Experience of the criminal justice system as part of a collaborative project between User Voice and NHS England. The panel works hand in hand with commissioners and other regional and national stakeholders to help tackle issues and develop solutions drawing on lived experience insight. The panel are passionate about making positive changes to systems and services to help reduce reoffending and support rehabilitation by addressing healthcare needs and inequalities. User Voice gives a voice to the people in the criminal justice system. Through their ideas we deliver change. The organisation was created by and is run by people who have been in prison and on probation. We exist to reduce offending by working with the most marginalised people in and around the criminal justice system to make sure that practitioners and policymakers hear their voices. Since March 2023, panel members have engaged people both in prison estates and the community across the East Midlands to improve healthcare services. The panel has been involved in the NHS England procurement process in the region. As part of this they have developed distraction packs and suicide prevention tools to be used in prison, conducted clinical quality visits to improve services as well as peer research projects on topics such as learning difficulties and disabilities, menopause, and addressing people’s mental health needs. They have recruited and trained volunteers with lived experience of the criminal justice system and they have progressed into employment within the sector. Volunteers with lived experience can be powerful advocates, using their personal stories to raise awareness, challenge stigma, and advocate for improved services and policies. Their insights contribute valuable feedback for healthcare providers and organisations, aiding in the continuous improvement of services based on real-world experiences. This is particularly important in areas such as mental health, lived experience volunteers can offer a unique form of understanding and support, having overcome, or managed their own mental health challenges. Moreover, our lived experience volunteers strengthen the sense of community by actively participating and engaging with others who share similar experiences, creating a supportive network. Being in the panel has had a positive impact for members themselves with one moving onto full time employment from working in the panel. Panel members have felt more motivated in day-to-day life, more able to build relationships and more hopeful for the future. One panel member said, “After being in a position myself I wanted to try and make a positive change to other people in similar situations”. Another panel member said, “Lived experience is essential in making a difference to people's lives. Through our own choices, do we only truly know one another, to support the most vulnerable people in our society, and show them there is a life after crime”.
Rating: 7.5/10. From 2 votes.
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