Outstanding patient recoveries give hope to others battling ill health

7th April 2017

Inspirational stories of people across Dorset who have recovered from serious illness or injury have been spotlighted at a health awards ceremony.

The annual Road to Wellness Awards, organised by Dorset HealthCare, celebrate people who have battled to overcome debilitating physical or mental health problems – or helped others to do so.

And this year’s presentation ceremony at Talbot Health School, in Bournemouth, provided moving testimony of how kindness, courage and innovation can help turn lives around.

Healthcare staff, relatives, carers and friends nominated a host of people and groups across six different categories. The shortlisted finalists, their nominators and other guests all attended the event, where the winners were announced.

These included:

  • Group Award: The Canford Cannons (Bournemouth/Poole) – for more than ten years this football team has provided people with mental health problems an opportunity to enjoy regular exercise and social interaction. Part of a fortnightly 11-a-side league, the team also helps to challenge the stigma around mental health.
  • Kindness Award: Lee Bascombe (Poole) – despite his own on-going mental health problems, Lee gives up his time to help others. He is a peer advocate for patients at St Ann’s Hospital in Poole, helps out at a substance abuse group and is planning to set up a bowling and snooker group for people recovering in the community.
  • Inspiration Award: Calvin Glen (Poole) – Calvin has turned his experience of issues such as Asperger’s Syndrome and psychosis into a positive. At 16, he is the youngest ambassador for local mental health charity Dorset Mind. He also supported the charity by recording an album and organising a two-day musical fundraiser just before Christmas last year.
  • Courage Award: Leon Jempson (Bournemouth) – through sheer determination, hard work and courage, Leon – a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic – has overcome his addiction to heroin and crack cocaine. Surviving periods of sleeping rough and severe ill-health, he remains substance free, as well as a kind and caring person.
  • Carers Award (joint winners): Christina Cope (Sturminster Marshall) and John Saunders (Wimborne) – As well as being a full-time cardiac nurse at Poole hospital, tireless Christina has also acted as carer and co-therapist for her mentally-ill mother – reducing her drug dependency, keeping her safe and also helping to hold their family together. John, now 80, has been caring for his son Russell for the past 20 years, providing both emotional and practical support to aid Russell’s recovery from mental health problems. John also provides encouragement and help to others through a carers support group in Wimborne.
  • Outstanding Achievement Award: Lynn Osman (Poole) – a former nurse and solicitor, Lynne has struggled with debilitating depression and self-harm for many years. But 12 months ago she resolved to regain her health and, with the aid of intensive therapy, she has made a dramatic recovery. She is much calmer and happier, and has recently started a new job.

Award winner Calvin Glen also performed a couple of songs about mental health to close the evening.

Dorset HealthCare Chair Ann Abraham, who presented the Outstanding Achievement Award, said:

“I would like to thank everyone for sharing their stories with us. We thought that all our finalists should have an award.

“I firmly believe that the best outcomes are achieved when NHS staff work closely with patients and their families and carers, and that has been clearly demonstrated through these awards."