Last Friday saw our annual celebration of achievements made by the people we’ve worked with over the last twelve months.
We want to say a big “thank you” to everyone who came to help us celebrate at our Garden Party at Fazeley Studios in Digbeth. To those who weren’t able to make it: you missed a treat!
We decided to give this year’s celebration an Alice In Wonderland theme, so we made sure that our tea party had some extra entertainment to enthrall and delight our guests.
The folk from CircusMASH kept us on our toes with juggling and stilt-walking during the reception (we thought some of our shoes were high-heeled, but they had nothing on these guys!) The Mercian String Quartet played a selection of classical and modern music, giving the place a wonderful atmosphere. And later, Birmingham’s Poet Laureate, Stephen Morrison-Burke had the audience spell-bound with his spoken word performance.
We hold our annual awards ceremony to honour the clients who we feel have overcome the most significant barriers or made the biggest achievements over the last year.
The 2013 awards were presented by Dr Adrian Phillips, Birmingham’s Director of Public Health; Mandy Shanahan, Director of Workforce at Health Education West Midlands; Jenny Henry, Head of Midwifery at Birmingham Women’s Hospital; and Councillor Jess Phillips, Councillor for the Longbridge Ward and Birmingham’s Victims’ Champion.
Support workers from each of Gateway’s services nominated a number of clients for high achiever awards. Many of the reasons were of a personal nature – particularly with our POW clients who, in some cases, have overcome huge obstacles in terms of re-establishing themselves after fleeing domestic abuse, or arriving in the UK as a refugee. But some of those we can mention include our Lighten Up service nominees: four people who had lost significant amounts of weight. (12 stone between them – that’s a whole person!)
All the staff and volunteers – our apprentices, befrienders and Health Trainers – who have gained qualifications through Gateway in the last year also received Learner awards.
Positive Social Impact
All of our staff make a positive social impact through their work but, for the first time, we gave Positive Social Impact awards to those who we felt had made a particularly big difference to people’s lives over the last twelve months.
Each of Gateway’s services nominated a partnership they’ve worked with over the last year who have helped us achieve more.
Our POW service nominated three organisations that have helped us tackle food poverty: Healthy Minds, Vineyard Church and Birmingham Registry Office. All three have enabled us to reach more people by providing food and toiletries for clients in need.
Health Trainers nominated West Heath Community Centre, where they have an outreach service. As well as the use of the building, West Heath Community Centre have helped us organise classes and have referred a lot of clients to the Health Trainer service.
Lighten Up and Maternal Lighten Up nominated Stephanie Worley, their highest referring midwife. All clients for the Maternal Lighten Up service are referred from midwives and Stephanie’s referrals really helped the service, especially in its early days.
Some words from our winners
During the party, I spoke to some of our nominees and found out a little bit more about their achievements.
To see more photos from the event, go to the Garden Party photoset on Flickr.