Nominations are now open to recognise the efforts of people in Nottingham who strive to improve the health and wellbeing of others.

The Michael Varnam Awards 2019 will particularly champion those who work tirelessly in the city’s more disadvantaged communities.

They are organised jointly by Nottingham City Council, Nottingham City Health and Wellbeing Board, NHS Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), One Nottingham and the Youth Parliament.

The awards take their name from former Sneinton GP Dr Michael Varnam who dedicated 35 years to helping people in Nottingham, particularly residents and families in deprived areas. He died in 2006, aged 61.

Nominations are invited in two categories – individual and group – and are open until 13 September 2019.

Councillor Eunice Campbell-Clark, Portfolio Holder for Health, HR and Equalities at Nottingham City Council and Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “There is so much good work that goes on in our neighbourhoods and our communities – work that makes a huge difference to the lives of those in need.

“So often, this help is given without fuss and without recognition, so we feel it is important that we take this opportunity to highlight some of the amazing people who go the extra mile to improve lives.

“If you know a person, or a group of people, who go the extra mile to make life better and improve health and wellbeing then please take a moment to nominate them.”

A judging panel consisting of representatives from the CCG, Health and Wellbeing Board, One Nottingham and Youth Parliament, plus the city’s Director of Public Health, Alison Challenger, will decide the winner and highly commended.

Alison Challenger said: “Michael Varnam dedicated more than three decades of his life to helping people and families from areas of the city that face the biggest challenges. These awards recognise the efforts and dedication of others like him, who give up so much of their time to make other people’s lives better.”

Past winners of the individual and group winners are:

-Louise Detain, a foster carer who is heavily involved with a number of community projects including a children’s choir and a support group for people affected by domestic violence

-Nottinghamshire Deaf Wellbeing Action Group which provides practical help and campaigns for rights of the deaf community, and educates people in British Sign Language

-Tracy Dickinson Wheeldon, who started up Tracy’s Street Kitchen to feed the homeless in Nottingham

-Members of Bulwell Forest Garden, a community project formed by neighbours who wanted to improve a patch of land that had been unused for many years.

-Gordon Garrick, worked tirelessly in the substance misuse field for years and has helped many people’s lives.

-Sit Up Shelter, helps homeless people in Nottingham. Run by volunteers working for the Red Cross and with premises provided by Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.

All nominations will be shortlisted by the panel of 5 judges consisting of:

-Director of Public Health, Nottingham City

-NHS Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group Representative

-Health and Wellbeing Board representative

-One Nottingham representative

-Youth Parliament representative

Judges have one week to evaluate and agree on a shortlist of 3 nominees (1 winner and two highly commended) for both the individual and group categories.

Judges will agree one winner for the individual and group category. All shortlisted nominees will be invited to an Awards Ceremony in the Loxley House Ground Floor Committee Room at 3pm, Wednesday 30 October.

The judges will be looking for the following from submissions to both the individual and group categories:

-Nominee must have made a difference and/or impact to either the population as a whole or a disadvantaged section of our Nottingham City community

-Nominee must have actively encouraged others to get involved in improving wellbeing in their community and reducing health and inequality.

-Evidence of how the contribution has been measured and the outcomes achieved.

People can nominate themselves, an individual or group within health, social care, voluntary, community or business sectors for a special contribution over the past year.