Celebrating outstanding mental health and wellbeing stories

Category: Winners

2022 UK Award Winners

Most Innovative Mental Health Intervention

QB tech and AHSN network

QB Tech is an organisation which is primarily focused on the management of reducing the NHS waitlist by expediting the long assessment process and creating a more streamlined clinician diagnosis. QB Tech has been a part of creating the AHSN Network in partnership with the NHS to do this.


Most Innovative Wellbeing Intervention

Fir Vale School

Fir Vale School is a large secondary school positioned in one of the most deprived areas of Sheffield. Fir vale has had a large impact across Sheffield supporting children, and their families through difficult situations and recognising that they were educating a significant number of children who would benefit from support outside of the norm. Fir Vale worked with several professionals to develop a range of support for children who have been impacted by adverse childhood experiences.

Long Term Impact

Talk for Health

Talk for Health is an organisation which offers training to those struggling with mental health, they offer a therapeutic and skill-building experience to help people to use healthy coping mechanisms to manage their mental health.

Support During the Pandemic

Road Chef

Road Chef worked hard throughout the pandemic to ensure that those who were on furlough in the company had well-being support during the pandemic. This included things such as hardship loans to ensure those struggling financially were supported and those out of work had reorientation training to ensure that staff were aware of changes to policies and guidelines before returning to work.

Nominate a Professional

Rita Trotter 

Rita Trotter is a highly qualified Health and Fitness Coach who has experienced her own struggles with physical and mental health. She has since gained the knowledge and skills to support others in achieving their own wellbeing goals and is now making an enormous impact on those she helps. Her resilience and determination to turn her own life around has earned her the ‘Nominate a Professional’ Award 2022.

Karen Forshaw and Chrissie Mowbray 

Karen Forshaw

Karen and Chrissy are exemplary professionals who have worked to provide support for mental health issues in healthcare professionals working in the community. They are both empathetic yet pragmatic, and have produced tools and approaches to help people with their mental health and to promote long-term mental health and well-being. Due to their efforts, they have been awarded the ‘Nominate a Professional’ Award 2022 in recognition of their work.

Laura Earnshaw 

Laura Earnshaw

Laura is an inspirational winner of the ‘Nominate a Professional’ Award 2022. She has worked as a Global HR Director for FTSE 100 companies and is passionate about supporting young people’s mental health. She left her job to create her own organisation, myHappymind, which is now an NHS-backed programme in schools, nurseries and organisations impacting hundreds of thousands of children. Laura is dedicated to building resilience, self-esteem and well-being habits in primary school children.

Georgina Chelton 

Georgina Chelton

Georgina is an incredibly dedicated professional with a clear commitment to

mental health and wellbeing. In 2017 she founded a Community Interest Company to assist families with trauma, and provides counselling for her own company, Serenity Self Care and Wellbeing Ltd. During the first lockdown, she sacrificed her income and personal time to provide free counselling for NHS staff, and reached out to 8 other qualified counsellors to help her fill the caseload. Georgina has been recognised for this dedication and been awarded the ‘Nominate a Professional’ Award 2022.

Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith is a consultant clinical psychologist who has worked diligently to provide support to children with anxiety, trauma, and depression. He showed tremendous empathy and respect towards the family of Lizzie Mcphee’s son, helping them to believe in professionals again and giving them hope. Patrick’s commitment to helping the most traumatised and difficult children is outstanding, and his contribution is highly appreciated by all the families he has helped.

Dr Jon Freeman

Dr Jon Freeman

Jon Freeman is a highly successful healthcare professional and leader at the

Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He is head of Staff Health and Wellbeing and has introduced a number of initiatives to ensure the trust’s staff are supported in both a professional and personal capacity. His hard work has been recognised nationally and he has been awarded the ‘Nominate a Professional’ Award 2022 for his success in redesigning and implementing the trust’s staff health and wellbeing programme. This programme is available 24/7 and contains a range of different resources to help staff in their own time.

Dr Natalie Whitton and Natalie Lawrence 

Natalie L and Natalie W have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to the Emergency Department by winning ‘Nominate a Professional’ Award 2022. Their work on promoting positive behaviour and well-being amongst their team has had a positive impact on the whole organisation, and is an example of how the power of civility and kindness can bring people together and improve the care provided to patients. The team’s efforts have been rewarded and celebrated for the positive changes they have made in their department.

Andrew Jenkins 

Andrew Jenkins

Andrew has had a difficult upbringing, as he was highly dyslexic and had low self-esteem. Despite this, he persevered and used his dyslexic tendencies as a form of drive and determination to become a vanguard of self-development, and a believer in a growth mindset and wellbeing. He now runs a corporate development company and a private practice, helping people to overcome their worries, anxieties and limiting beliefs. As a result of his impressive work, he was awarded the ‘Nominate a Professional’ Award 2022.

George Anderson 

George Anderson has been a passionate and committed individual in his work with clients, leading to his nomination and subsequent win of the ‘Nominate a Professional’ Award 2022. His impactful initiatives, such as the creation of the Facebook group ‘On The Wagon’ and the organisation of retreats to the Pyrenees, have had a significant and positive effect on many lives. His career has seen close to 18,000 client sessions and he has worked with over 50 companies and held over 200 presentations. George’s commitment to making a difference in the lives of those he works with is clear in his success and recognition.

Fauzia Khan

Fauzia Khan, an Assistant Psychologist, and a colleague, Senior Psychologist, recognised the challenges and pressures brought on by the coronavirus and developed a workshop initiative to support their team’s wellbeing. Drawing on interventions from Compassion Focused Therapy and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, they provided a workshop to all staff members to emphasise that their needs were important. The feedback from the attendees indicated that the workshop was beneficial and appreciated, leading to Fauzia receiving the ‘Nominate a Professional’ Award 2022.

Nick Forsythe

Nicky Forsythe has dedicated her life to improving mental healthcare and challenging the traditional conventions in the space. She had a personal experience with mental illness that inspired her to create Talk For Health, which is a platform that provides effective and accessible therapeutic talk to those in need. As a result of her hard work and dedication, Nick has been awarded the ‘Nominate a Professional’ Award 2022.

Inspirational Story

Harry Rudden-Vine

Photo of Harry on the night of the awards

Harry has been awarded the Inspirational Story Award for The Mental Awards 2022 for his selfless act of raising mental health awareness in response to his own personal tragedy. His contributions to the ‘peace garden’ at school, including ‘positivity pebbles’, have been recognised and appreciated by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Harry’s mother, Clair, is incredibly proud of his efforts and is astounded by his kind nature.

Alice Hendy

Alice Hendy

Alice was recently awarded the Inspirational Story Award for The Mental Health Awards 2022 for her admirable work on Ripple Suicide Prevention. Alice was driven to create Ripple after her brother, Josh, passed away in November 2020. Ripple has saved 22 lives and has been downloaded over 140,000 times, and Alice has managed to do this while working a full-time job and grieving. Alice is an inspiration to many and her family are proud of her achievements.

Katja Pavlovna

Katja has been awarded the Inspirational Story Award for The Mental Health Awards 2022 in recognition of her incredible journey and determination to help others. She is an inspiration to many and her story of resilience and determination has helped to challenge stigma and make a difference in the mental health community. Katja has been a beacon of hope for those struggling to access diagnosis and support.

Sarah Tupling

Sarah Tupling

Sarah has been awarded the Inspirational Story Award for The Mental Health Awards 2022 in recognition of her incredible work in the deaf community. Despite her struggles with her own mental health, Sarah is passionate and committed to improving the lives of deaf women and providing support to those in need. She has been an incredible support to the community and is praised for the impact she has made on everyone around her.

Stuart Bratt

Stuart Bratt

Stuart has been awarded the Inspirational Story Award at The Mental Health Awards 2022. His charity, Tough Enough To Care, was set up in 2019 in order to remove the stigma surrounding mental ill health in male-dominated environments such as the military, emergency services and sports clubs. Through his dedication, Stuart has trained 1000 men in a basic understanding of mental health and has gained national and global support for the work he does.

Tracey Jones

Tracey, CEO and founder of Chrysalis Mindset Coaching, was recently awarded the Inspirational Story Award for The Mental Health Awards 2022. Her work focuses on interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence, and aims to improve the sense of well-being, resilience, self-awareness, confidence and social and emotional skills for those she works with. Her drive and determination to bring her vision to life and her inspiring attitude have been recognised both inside and outside of her community.

Edward Dean

Edward has been awarded the Inspirational Story Award for The Mental Health Awards 2022 for his incredible work in setting up the ‘let’s talk project’ and the charity Anxious Minds. Through his hard work and dedication, he has been able to provide support to thousands of people in the Northeast and beyond who have struggled with mental health issues. He has become an inspirational role model in his local community and has been praised by the prime minister for his work.

2021 UK Award Winners

Scroll to

Most innovative mental health intervention

Most innovative proactive wellbeing intervention

Support During the Pandemic

Inspirational mental health story (over 18s)

Public nomination for an outstanding professional

Outstanding contribution to the mental health and wellbeing sector

Most Innovative Mental Health Intervention

Suicide Crisis

Set up in 2013 by a psychiatric patient who had recently experienced suicidal crisis herself, Suicide Crisis is a registered charity which provides Suicide Crisis Centres in Gloucestershire. It also runs a separate Trauma Centre providing a combination of services such as home visits and emergency phone lines for clients, training, psychiatric advise, and alike.


Suicide Crisis Centre clients decide how often the specialists will visit them, what kind of care and support they will receive, and they even decide when they feel ready to leave the service.  The client has control to make decisions as much as possible, while professionals actively intervene to protect their life when they are at risk of suicide.

The wider impact of the Suicide Crisis Centre is described in the book “Suicide Prevention Techniques: How A Suicide Crisis Centre Saves Lives” (published in 2018 by Hachette UK). The book explains in detail why all Suicide Crisis clients have survived under their care. You can purchase the book here.

Most innovative wellbeing intervention

Blackdog Outdoors

Black Dog Outdoors are passionate about outdoor activities and helping people to improve their mental health. Qualified outdoor professionals together with Mental Health First Aiders organise walking, climbing and paddle sport events throughout the UK that are free to attend for those affected by poor mental health. Black Dog Outdoors provide an opportunity to meet like-minded people without fear of being judged, and gain confidence in own abilities.


Black Dog Outdoors offer events free of charge for those affected by poor mental health. Events are run by volunteers who give up their time to provide a fun, supportive and safe experience for the attendees.
Black Dig Outdoors events also involve trainee leaders / instructors to help them gain experience of group management. Outdoor setting is beneficial to upskill and empower people to get out on their own.

Support During the Pandemic

Bedford Borough Council

Team BEDS&LUTON bring together a range of groups across Luton, Bedford and Central Bedfordshire, including community organisations, national governing bodies, coaches, clubs and volunteers to support, develop and promote physical activity in the local area.

Making an impact during the pandemic

Bedford Borough Council and Robert Lindsay reacted swiftly to the initial lockdown in March 2020. They set up online sport and physical activity sessions, delivered by a qualified coach with the opportunity to socialise at the end of the session to make new friends and ensure the community felt connected. With many of the participants being on their own this really helped motivate and improve mental health during a very lonely time.

Watch this video of a couple who was impacted by online classes during the pandemic.

Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy

Nordoff Robbins is the UK’s largest music therapy charity dedicated to bringing high quality music therapy to as many people as possible. Through the use of music they enrich the lives of people with life-limiting illnesses, disabilities and feelings of isolation.

Making an impact during the pandemic

The pandemic required a creative approach by the music therapists to continue their work. They discovered different activities that would benefit to service users, which included songwriting, music appreciation sessions and musical ‘discovery’ projects – group members introducing their musical passions and new discoveries to each other, singing together with users muted (only the music therapist is heard).

Read more about how the Hospice Choir continued to practise via Zoom


onHand is an award winning volunteer matching solution. IBM describes us as an “Uber for Volunteering”. Their mission is to make it simple for businesses all over the UK to engage employees whilst also giving back to communities.

Impact during the pandemic

We developed our tech to meet the growing need for help. Our project now delivers systems innovation, using tech to find and automate matching of volunteers with people in need. The onHand app has the ability to vet and track volunteers and allows volunteers to instantly claim shopping refunds, payment of which are then automated back to the volunteer.

Inspirational story

Harry Bliss

For a long time, Harry has been aware of the importance of mental wellbeing. After experiencing his own mental health struggles during university, he graduated determined to use his knowledge to galvanise change in the way people view, approach and deal with mental wellbeing in the workplace.

At the age of just 24, he took a leap of faith, and founded his own company: Champion Health. Champion Health would work with organisations to help them be proactive about looking after the mental health of their employees. In doing so, they would ensure that struggling employees could quickly get the help they needed.

Interview with Harry Bliss; The why behind Champion Health

Kate Rodgers

At the very young age of 24, Kate began to show signs of not being well. Kate did not end up in the big theatre in Down town Toronto as she hoped, but ended up in the psychiatric wing of the big hospital in downtown Toronto. So began her journey of mental health and mental illness, but more so, her journey of maintenance and recovery.

Based on her personal experience and research, she wrote a play called ‘Cracked Up’ to tell her story in the hopes that it would help people with their recovery journey. The play became incredibly successful and was played in Canada, New Zealand, England and Ireland.

Currently Kate is also one of the directors of a theatre company for people with mental health challenges. The entire members have now found a voice and a platform on which to use that voice.

Public nomination for an outstanding professional

Sue Bell

Sue Bell founded Kids Inspire in 2007, a not-for-profit organisation providing mental health and trauma recovery support for children, young people and their families. It is a unique organisation with over 100 paid or voluntary staff working across Essex, and beyond. The aim of Kids Inspire is to support disadvantaged children, young people and their families to build resilience, heal from trauma and reclaim their lives.

Sue is extremely well known in her community for her support of children’s mental health. She has the backing of her local MP, local authority and numerous community groups including the Rotary, Lions and Round Table.

A poem that one of Sue’s close friends has written in response to her achievements.

Find more about Kids Inspire.

Outstanding contribution to the mental health and wellbeing sector

Alison Donkin

Ali is the heart and soul behind the creation of a new Recovery College for North Tyneside. Ali works for VODA, a registered charity that passionately believes in the power of volunteers and community groups to change people’s lives for the better. For nearly 30 years VODA has been the ‘beating heart’ of the voluntary and community sector in North Tyneside, providing essential support to hundreds of volunteers and community groups each year.

Ali’s commitment to partnership working and collaboration has helped to sustain and grow the level of mental health provision across the borough of North Tyneside by applying different approaches to supporting local residents such as sports and creative writing.

Find more about VODA and the impact that they are making.

Annalise Baker

Annalise is Oakleaf’s Client Services Manager, responsible for the day-to-day management of the charity’s client-facing staff, and ensuring high-quality service provision for our hundreds of clients managing their mental ill-health.

Since Covid-19 Annalise has been on the front line of successfully adapting Oakleaf’s services to be delivered remotely, managed the huge increase in need and poor mental wellbeing within our client base, created innovative ways of supporting clients, and has looked after the wellbeing of team.  Annalise and her team worked incredibly long hours at the start of the pandemic to reassure and support clients on an individual basis.

2020 UK Award Winners

Scroll to

Most innovative mental health intervention

Most innovative proactive wellbeing intervention

Long-term impact

Outstanding contribution to the mental health and wellbeing sector

Inspirational mental health story (under 18s)

Inspirational mental health story (over 18s)

Lifestyle award

Most Innovative Mental Health Intervention

Penumbra Milestone

Penumbra Milestone is an alcohol-free 10 bedded step-down service providing short-term care for vulnerable men and women aged 18+ with a probable diagnosis of alcohol related brain damage (ARBD).


It is known that people experiencing ARBD have a range of complex physical, mental and social needs. The team provide specialist & intensive 1:1 and group re-enablement support for up to 12 weeks. Residents engage in a range of activities and therapy to improve their physical and mental health as well as promote/re-learn social and life skills. They are also supported to engage in community-based support services in the community that they will be discharged to, in order that they can continue to engage in them after discharge.

Most innovative wellbeing intervention


HUG A MUG friendly guidance café open to everyone, whatever their age, situation, background or postcode. HUG A MUG came out of a four year research process of finding out what local residents want to improve in their community.

Many local people find it hard to find out about what is available to them and there are many barriers to taking those next steps. HUG A MUG aims to create a safe space where you can get advice on all sorts of things like health and well-being, housing, work, finance or family problems, while wrapping your hands around a hot drink and knowing that someone will listen. HUG A MUG empowers people by helping them to identify what help they need and helping them to take those next steps – the service doesn’t aim to do it ‘for them’ or ‘to them.’

View a short promo video or read interview with the HUG A MUG Project Manager.

Long-term impact

Core Arts

Core Arts is a not-for-profit Social Business that promotes positive mental health and wellbeing through creative learning. Their mission is to support and promote recovery, social inclusion and mental wellbeing through the arts and enhance service user experience.

Core Arts encourages progression and well-being both mentally and physically, as well as connect the isolated and marginalised individuals to develop friendship groups. Their aim is to highlight the individuals’ strengths and ambitions and develop partnerships with other institutions to provide opportunities for students to showcase their works.

Read Core Art’s annual review or watch student’s performances.

Outstanding contribution to the mental health and wellbeing sector

Annabel Hodgson

Having worked in the Youth Work sector for over 30 years, Annabel has had a pivotal role in shaping the provision of mental health support for young people in Southampton and Hampshire. Starting as a Detached Youth Worker on a council estate, Annabel then developed Southampton’s first LGBTQ youth project before starting her role as the CEO at No Limits.

Annabel has built No Limits from a tiny charity with 2 members of staff to a large local charity with 100 staff and 70 volunteers from all over Hampshire. No Limits is an award-winning, local, independent charity providing a unique combination of prevention, early intervention and crisis support to young people, based on a nationally evidenced model. Annabel is passionate in her belief that young people should be given help to reach their potential, including those who are the most vulnerable. Annabel works continually to develop projects to support mental health.

Learn more about No Limits and the impact that they are making!

Inspirational Story (under 18s)

We Will

In December 2017, eight young people from West Cumbria had become so despairing about the lack of youth mental health services in their area and the impact it was having on family and friends that they called a public meeting and came together to form the WE WILL youth mental health campaign.

All of the founding members of WE WILL had been impacted directly or indirectly by mental health problems and the lack of support available to young people. The young people work as advocates for Youth Mental Health First Aid training – encouraging people to undertake the training and also spread the word. They are also trained to pass on basic YMHFA and suicide alert messages to peers and the wider community.

Read Guardian article or watch the video to learn more about the WE WILL.

Inspirational story (over 18s)

Ben West

At the age of 18, Ben’s brother Sam took his own life. Ben West is determined to save others from the same pain by campaigning for mental health awareness. While grieving for his 15 year old brother Sam, Ben organised a 200km walk across Kent to raise awareness of mental ill health.

More than 450 people took part in the project #Walktotalk. Mum Michelle is giving speeches at conferences to encourage teachers to take part in Mental Health First Aider training and the team have raised over £15,000, from the #Walktotalk event, to help develop more mental health awareness projects.

Visit The Sam West Foundation to learn how you can get involved!

The Lifestyle Award

Start to end suicide

Reach Out; Start to End Suicide is based on the foundation belief that suicide is preventable and everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide. START utilising its foundation within therapeutic arts developed incredibly innovative interventions that proactively engage with the Salford community; provide support and hope to those directly affected by suicide; and challenge stigma.

It has brought together the people of Salford as they build resilience, caring, save lives and end the stigma that surrounds mental illness and suicide. It is a people’s movement that is delivering outstanding results.

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