Excellence Awards 2023 Individual

Outstanding achievement

This award was for someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the Trust and its work. They may have been working for the NHS for a long time or perhaps they have triumphed over adversity – either way, they have achieved something remarkable.

Highly commended

Richard Watterston on stage toreceive his highly commended award with Salma Yasmeen, director of innovationRichard Watterston

Principal physiotherapist and AHP lead, Calderdale and Kirklees

Representing adult and older people mental health services

During the pandemic, hospitals were at maximum capacity and were not able to accept transfers of Trust patients even with worsening respiratory symptoms. With Richard’s skills and qualifications, he was able to lead the Trust into providing care for patients with Covid-19 meaning they could stay safely on the Trust’s inpatient units and continue their mental health care. Richard successfully submitted a business case to purchase 26 therapeutic oxygen cylinders and trained over 230 doctors and advanced nurses on how to prescribe and administer oxygen safely. His legacy continues post-pandemic as the respiratory care that teams are now able to provide is vastly improved.


Shanique Simpson with Director Salma Yasmeen receiving her awardShanique Simpson

Specialist occupational therapist, Kirklees learning disability health team

Representing learning disability and adult ASD and ADHD

Shanique was nominated for ensuring that equality and diversity is highlighted in her team and across the Trust. She was pivotal in the Black History Month celebrations within her team, organising an event, sourcing inspirational speakers and also talking about her own experiences. The event helped the team to further understand equality and diversity, how colleagues experience racism and injustice and how to support them, amplify their voices and be allies to them. The team see diversity as a strength and Shanique is key in making sure this is embedded within her team.



Leader of the year

This award was for anybody who has excellent leadership skills; they do not need to be in a formal management role. This award recognises the importance of ‘leading from every seat’ in the Trust, inspiring others and taking people with them.

Highly commended

Sandra Butler on stage to receive her highly commended certificate

Sandra Butler

Lead nurse, Unity Centre, Fieldhead

Representing adult and older people mental health services

Sandra has devoted her career, spanning over 30 years, to the acute inpatient pathway in Wakefield. Sandra approaches her role with passion and enthusiasm and serves as a positive role model for new starters, taking time to nurture and mentor them. Sandra ensures the service user voice is always captured and has worked with service users, carers and colleagues to develop new ways of working. Sandra recently supported a carer when choosing a prospective placement for his wife when returning home was no longer an option, finding a positive outcome for both the service user and carer. Sandra is dedicated to supporting some of the Trust’s most vulnerable service users through acute crisis to reach their potential and live well in the community.


Leader of the year Lindzi Eaton Ward receiving her award on stageLindzi Eaton-Ward

District nurse, Barnsley neighbourhood nursing team

Representing Barnsley integrated services

Lindzi is an inspirational leader who is extremely approachable, has time for everybody and is always positive in her outlook. She provides honest and valuable advice which gives confidence to staff in the decisions they are making. She is dedicated and committed to the service and puts patients and staff first and foremost. She involves everyone in decisions by giving clear feedback, seeking and sharing ideas in order to make improvements and to help people reach their potential. Her clarity and her vision, alongside her compassion, resilience and her ability to motivate others empowers individuals and teams to ensure a high-quality, patient centred service.



Rising star

Recognising anyone who is on the up in their career, whether new into the Trust or in an evolving role. This award was for someone who has a bright future in front of them; they can inspire change and are making a real difference.

Highly commended

Amy Willis on stage to receive her highly commended certificate for rising star with Dr Subhna ThiyageshAmy Willis

Specialist community nurse, Barnsley learning disability health team

Representing learning disability and adult ASD and ADHD

From day one it was clear that Amy had a passion for her work and was keen to make a difference in any way she could. She led an initiative in her team securing funding for activity packs to send out to service users who were struggling with isolation in the community during the pandemic. Compliments came flooding in, thanking her for the quality of her work and her consistently professional and approachable manner. Amy was invited to be a member of the National Professional Decision-Making Council for Learning Disability Nursing as one of just 20 learning disability nurses nationally representing frontline nurses on the council. Amy is a proud nurse and a positive role model who embeds Trust values in her daily practice.


Rising star Kieran Sullivan receiving his award on stage presented by Doctor Subhna ThyiageshKieran Sullivan

Peer support worker, Laura Mitchell Health and Wellbeing Centre, Calderdale

Representing adult and older people mental health services

Kieran has been working as a peer support worker for the last three years promoting that recovery is possible to everyone he works with. He was described as an inspiration to service users and their families and an asset to the service and Trust. Joining the team in the pandemic, Kieran worked creatively to ensure his service users still received social inclusion and recovery-focused contacts. He ran quizzes online for service users to maintain engagement and social inclusion, and encouraged physical activity mindful of social distancing guidelines. Kieran is humble, passionate, motivated and enthusiastic in all he does, and a shining example of how fantastic peer support can be for service users.


Unsung hero

Recognising someone who truly lives our values and makes a difference. They may not always get the praise and recognition for what they do; this category shines a light on their attitude, work and commitment.

Highly commended

Qaasim Bulbuilya receiving his highly commended certificateQaasim Bulbuliya

Administration officer, Foxhill Hub, Dewsbury

Representing learning disability and adult ASD and ADHD

Qaasim is always happy to help others within the team and goes above and beyond in his role. He welcomes everyone into the team including new starters and students. At the start of the pandemic when staff were struggling with moving towards new technology, Qaasim provided help and support to ensure the team were up and running. Qaasim continues to be the team’s go-to person and will always help where he can, no matter the time of day or how busy he is. Even with the telephone constantly ringing and people waiting at reception, Qaasim remains as calm and welcoming as ever.


Simon Linford on stage receieving his awardSimon Linford

Decontamination assistant, Barnsley integrated community equipment service (BICES)

Representing Barnsley integrated services

Simon gives 100% to his role and is a rising star within the small BICES team. He always demonstrates enthusiasm and commitment, ensuring that equipment is fully clean to exacting infection control standards so that it is safe for clients to use within the community. Since his appointment he has been instrumental in the further modernisation and development of the BICES decontamination unit, lessening the impact on resources. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Simon worked hard to ensure community equipment was available at a time when most manufacturing and new equipment was unavailable. Extremely approachable and keen to assist, Simon always makes sure that the team’s clients are safe and have successfully received their equipment.


Chair and chief executive’s award

Gillian Cowell receiving her award with Chief Excecutive Mark Brooks to her right and Chair Marie Burnham to her left Gillian Cowell

Carers project management officer

Representing support services

Gillian is currently in a seconded role as carers project management officer. Her role is to identify staff who are in a caring role, develop the staff carers’ network, appoint carer champions in every service area, and raise awareness of carer responsibilities. Gillian has excelled in all of these areas, raising the number of carer champions from a handful to over 60, forming a working task group to improve the recording of staff carer data, and delivering ‘care for a cuppa’ sessions which have been accessed by over 70 staff. This is all attributable to Gillian’s passion for carers rights, inclusion at every level and her ability to engage, motivate and inspire others.


Berit Ritchie

Berit Ritchie on stage receiving her award - with chair, Marie Burnham to her left and Chief Exec Mark Brooks to her rightConsultant clinical psychologist, forensic CAMHS

Representing forensic

Berit has helped reform the practice of forensic CAMHS and their consultation process. She has considered the family and individual throughout this process and has constantly been conscious of including them. Her nominator Georgia Sulej said that Berit, who was assigned as her supervisor, went above and beyond to help Georgia feel safe and confident enough to express both her personal and professional views, and taught her the meaning of being person-centred. Georgia also said that people like Berit enable generations of better practitioners and are the soul of the NHS.




Find out about all our shortlisted finalists in our brochure.


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