Bedfordshire nurses win prestigious awards for championing mental health

Celebrating the brilliance of nurses

Two Bedfordshire children's nurses have won prestigious national awards for championing mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Emily Martin, Specialist Community Nursery Nurse and Georgia McNamara, Children’s Complex Health Nurse have received Cavell Star Awards after launching a weekly virtual drop-in service to help colleagues struggling with their mental health during the pandemic.

They are both based in Bedford Town, and work across the whole of Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire.

Emily Martin

The nurses, who work for Bedfordshire Children’s Community Health Services – part of Cambridgeshire Community Health Services NHS Trust - had completed a mental health first-aid course.

They wanted to support their colleagues in the team by using the techniques they had learnt and sharing information and resources they had been given.

They were nominated for the awards – run by the nursing charity, Cavell Nurses’ Trust – by Sian Hooban, Service Manager for the Community Children's Nursing Services.

Sian said: “I am so proud of Emily and Georgia. They have taken the training received and immediately found a way they can use it virtually to help all our nurses who might be struggling during this pandemic.

Georgia McNamara

“It’s been a tough time for everyone and these drop-in clinics have offered our fabulous staff the chance to talk through any issues they might have and find ways to cope and continue supporting the families we serve.”

The Cavell Star Awards are given to nurses, midwifes, nursing associates and healthcare assistants who show exceptional care to their colleagues, patients or their patients’ families.

Emily said: “In light of the recent pandemic, it is so important to support each other the best we can and this is why we decided to run these weekly sessions for people to be able to talk to us about any concerns or worries they may be having."

Georgia added: “Mental health applies to everybody and it is as important to look after your mental health as it is your physical health.”

John Orchard, chief executive at Cavell Nurses’ Trust said: “Emily and Georgia have shown exceptional care in difficult circumstances to help their colleagues; this is exactly what the Cavell Star Awards are all about.”