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Roadshow series for Young People with Visual Impairment wins award

A team from Devon Integrated Children’s Services has been recognised for its work to encourage social inclusion and independence for children and young people with visual impairment.

The Rehabilitation Officers for Visually Impaired Children (ROVIC) service received the ‘Project of the Year’ honour at Virgin Care’s Feel the Difference Awards for colleagues who have delivered great care and improved the experience of service users – ensuring that they all ‘feel the difference’.

The roadshows allowed children and young people with visual or multi-sensory impairment to meet peers and make friendships through opportunities to experience and participate in drumming, theatre and storytelling workshops, alongside parents having the time to receive information, awareness and ideas to reassure and support their child’s independences.

ROVIC clinical team leader, Sue Pilkington, organised and managed the roadshows.

The nomination said, “The roadshows were immensely successful with many positive comments from children and parents.”

Sue also won an individual award. The nomination said, “Sue is the glue that holds the ROVIC team together and has built it up to a flagship service.”

Sue said, “I am extremely proud to be clinical team leader for the ROVIC service, and absolutely delighted that as a team we have been recognised for the contribution in creating opportunities and enabling achievements for visually impaired young people in Devon.”

 IT Support and Deployment Engineer, Mike Kocziban, also won an individual award for his IT contribution and support of the roadshows.

His nomination said, “Mike is a fantastic ambassador for inspiring and promoting team spirit. Without any hesitation he offered his free time to ensure that as a service we delivered opportunities to children and young people enabling them to participate and enjoy interactions despite their sensory limitations. Throughout the process Mike wore many hats – IT champion, sound engineer, event capturer, photographer, PowerPoint and video editor and postman!”

Mike said, “It was a delightful surprise to first be nominated for and then to win my award. I was very proud to be involved with the ROVIC service roadshows and to receive recognition from the team was just the icing on the cake! The awards night is the tip of the iceberg, just a small selection of the hundreds of our colleagues that turn up to work and go the extra mile, do more than just their job – helping everyone feel the difference.”

More than 100 colleagues and their guests attended the award ceremony at the Coombe Abbey Hotel, Coventry, after being selected from hundreds of nominations from both colleagues and members of the public.

Stuart Rennison-Price, Chief Operating Officer at Virgin Care, judged the nominations and presented the awards at the ceremony.

 He said, “It was a very enjoyable but difficult task judging the nominations. Every single one demonstrated the amazing work all of our colleagues do every day.

 “I am extremely proud to recognise colleagues from across the organisation for going above and beyond to make a genuine difference to people’s lives. It is very important that we celebrate their achievements.”

 This year colleagues were also nominated for Long Service Awards.

Long Service Awards went to four colleagues in Devon Integrated Children’s Services.

 Heather Woolven, Public Health Team Leader in Exeter, has worked for the NHS and now Virgin Care for 35 years. Her nomination said, “It is Heather’s kindness and caring leadership, readiness to help and support with a smile and acting as a mentor with qualities to aspire to which I believe deserve to be recognised.”

 Helen Tilke, Public Health Nursing Team Leader based in South Molton, has worked for the NHS and now Virgin Care for 34 years. Her nomination said, “Wellie (Helen) makes a significant difference and contribution to any team she leads by truly believing in her colleagues, their abilities and in acknowledging the hard work of every team member.”

 Beverley Hackworthy, has worked for the NHS and now Virgin Care for 35 years. Her nomination said, “For the past 25 years Beverley has worked in Public Health Nursing supporting Health Visitors in Exeter. She regularly weighed babies and supported Health Visitors during the baby health checks and they say they couldn’t do their job without her.”

Elaine McLintock, Professional Lead and Service Manager for the Occupational Therapy services based at Exeter, has worked in the healthcare industry for more than 20 years. The nomination from her team said, “She is the perfect balance of professionalism and compassion meeting the ever-increasing demands for service delivery as well as considering the needs of the colleagues delivering this service and the families receiving it.”


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