Praising Us

Help us thank our amazing staff

From the smallest gesture that made your day to something that you’ll remember for a lifetime ... let us know!
Whether it is someone involved in your care, someone that made a difference when you visited us, or perhaps you want to recognise a fellow colleague within the Trust, just fill in the nomination form and we’ll do the rest. 
Every month, our panel will choose one member of staff or a team as the ‘shine a light’ award winner.  

Teams will be presented with a voucher for £50 and individual winner's will receive £25.  We will also promote their story through our website and newsletters, along with a summary of everyone that was nominated.
Help us say ‘thank you’ - fill in the nomination form here or a hard copy of the form can be found here.

This award is an opportunity for patients, families, visitors and Trust colleagues to say ‘thank you – you made a difference’ to a member of staff for anything (however small!) that helped make their experience of our services better.  


Please find a list of previous winners below.

March 2019 - Mags Hirst, Play Specialist, CCN Team, Peacock Centre, Cambridge

by Sarah Turner | Mar 27, 2019

This award is an opportunity for patients, families, visitors and Trust colleagues to say ‘thank you – you made a difference’ to a member of staff or a team for anything (however small!) that helped make their experience of our services better.

The winner for March 2019 is:

Mags Hirst, Play Specialist, CCN Team, Peacock Centre, Cambridge Mags Hirst

Mags was nominated by her colleague Julia McLean for the time and energy she’s spent promoting the need to have a sensory room within the newly-transformed Peacock Centre, to enable children with special medical or educational needs to enjoy and benefit from the sensory aids available.

The following feedback was received from a patient whose family has benefited from the sensory room: “How invaluable we have found the sensory play sessions you run at the Peacock Centre. When Josie came home from hospital in August 2018, following a six-month stint, she was quite severely delayed in her physical development. She was fairly prone, only able to roll onto her sides and was unable to sit without support. Most of her interactions with people were mainly looking at things and smiling. She was able to hold things but not able to pick them up. In addition to this, she had become extremely distrusting of anybody who wasn’t in her immediate family unit. She was very suspicious and cried at everybody including extended family members such as grandparents.

“Whilst I was off on my shared parental leave in October 2018 (my wife had returned to work), Mags invited Josie and my eldest daughter (3 years old) to the Peacock Centre for a sensory play session. There were so many different toys and things to do, it was slightly overwhelming at first, but Mags was able to quickly identify the type of toys Josie would respond well towards, and the play sessions became more tailored as we went on.

“As expected, Josie was initially very wary of Mags and the sensory play sessions and was not very engaging at first. However, as we came to more sessions, Josie became more and more accepting of Mags. This was a breakthrough for us because at this point, Josie was still rejecting the attention of everyone, including her grandparents. Our instinct was to keep her away from the people that were upsetting her because of her cardiac problems, but the play sessions not only taught us how to stimulate Josie but also what she needed to feel safe. So we were able to replicate the play process at home with the grandparents, instructing them to keep their distance, as Mags had in the sessions, and to keep passing her toys to play with. To our relief, Josie began to reject her grandparents less and now that I’m back at work, she’s able to be looked after by her grandparents.

“Thinking back to how she was in August, getting to this point seemed an impossible achievement but we succeeded thanks to Mags’ support! Josie has come a long way physically as well, and this is thanks to a combination of the sensory play, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy sessions. We were able to pick and mix things we’ve learnt from each area to help Josie develop physically. The sensory play ignited in Josie a sense of curiosity and exploration. She’s gone from a prone baby who didn’t move very much, to a toddler who’s on the go all the time. She’s skipped crawling and is on her feet a lot more. She can also sit without support now. She loves picking things up, to shake, look at and to lick (Mags cleans the toys after every session). And this has also helped with Josie’s oral aversion.

“Finally, as much as the sessions have helped Josie, I just wanted to say how much the sessions have helped me. The sessions gave me the confidence and a reason to get the kids out of the house and do something with them. Josie being ‘special needs’ used to make me feel like we had to be tethered to the house, just in case something happened. But now we’re more confident and more prepared to take the kids out. The sessions also gave me an outlet for some of the frustrations I was feeling around Josie’s care, and this was good because Mags was able to give me advice and ideas e.g. at one play session, I asked Mags about whether she had any ideas about how to stop a heavy gastrostomy bag from pulling on Josie’s stoma. She went away and a few weeks’ later, Josie was being measured for a couple of handmade bags with a Velcro belt! These are just some of the reasons why we’re very grateful for the sensory play sessions run by Mags Hirst.”

Congratulations to Mags!

Also nominated this month:

Shagufta Dalal, Speech/language Therapist, SALT

Shagufta was nominated by Joanne Egginton, a teaching assistant at a local school, who said: “Shagufta is not only extremely helpful with SALT support and resources, she is also a lovely person. Nothing is too much trouble for her. I know I can contact her (and do) whenever I have a problem and I will get a quick and helpful reply as she is a font of knowledge and has good ideas to try.

“She helps me with ideas to support planning for children that I work with, ensuring they have the best support she can provide. She really has the children's best interests at heart and I will miss her very much when she has moved to Huntingdon. Please return soon. Thank you so much.”

Michelle Eleftheriades, Emotional Health and Wellbeing Practitioner, Cambridgeshire Children and Young People's Services

Michelle was nominated by Sarah Stacey who said: “The Emotional Health and Wellbeing Service offers advice and guidance to professionals who have a concern about a child's emotional health. This is via a duty line for professionals to call but also by visiting schools and offering face-to-face consultations and training sessions. We are a new and developing service which means that we constantly review the way we deliver our service to ensure we meet clients’ needs in the most effective and timely way.

“Michelle joined our team in September last year and after a few months, she recognised that the way we offered support to education staff in schools was not going to be sustainable due to the high demand on the service. Michelle therefore designed a new way of offering schools the support, advice, knowledge and guidance they needed from our service which meant she was able to visit significantly more schools and have face-to-face sessions with more staff. This in turn will help more staff to understand the emotional needs of the children they work with and how best to support those children, as well as recognising their own emotional health and wellbeing needs.

“The impact of this will be more children and education staff being positively affected by the EHW service being involved. I would like to nominate Michelle for being able to see a potential problem for service delivery, finding an innovative solution, compiling a plan for the delivery of this and implementing a pilot scheme. This enthusiasm and solution-focused thinking will help the service grow and develop the excellent work provided by all members of the team. Excellent work Michelle, thank you!”

Carolyn Cain, Team Manager, Children and Young People's Services

Carolyn received two nominations this month. The first nomination was from Karen Quinn who said: “Carolyn has been our manager for three years and we are sad to see her moving onto another locality. She has been an excellent manager, always going above and beyond for the wellbeing of the staff and service users. She is approachable, kind and genuinely one of the most caring people I know. Last week we had a particularly challenging week in the East Locality and staff have needed extra support and containment.

“Carolyn has gone the extra mile for each and every member of staff, whilst ensuring that the service delivery is unaffected and still high in quality. Carolyn's passion for her work and the welfare of the children on our caseload is commendable. She's respected not only from our organisation, but from our partner agencies too. I cannot put into words how highly I recommend her for this recognition.”

The second nomination was from Mary Ritchie who said: “Carolyn has been our team manager for the past three years and is due to be leaving our team in May. She always puts her staff before herself and genuinely cares about our emotional wellbeing. After a very difficult week last week, Carolyn ensured the safety of all staff within our team and her communication skills were amazing.

“On a personal note, following a very difficult child protection case she supported me through the court process, being available to me to talk to at any time, day or evening, and again she genuinely cared about how I was feeling and dealing with the case. Carolyn is a genuinely caring person who puts the needs of her staff before her own. Always going above and beyond the call of duty and she will be sorely missed by us all and deserves this recognition to show how much she is valued.”

Susan McCabe, Assistant Practitioner Neuro and ESd Services, Neuro and ESd Service, Queensborough House, Friars Walk, Dunstable, Beds

Susan was nominated by Helen Gordon who said: Susan had to complete CPR on a client in their own home; she arrived and felt the client was unwell so called an ambulance. The emergency services then referred her back to the client’s G.P, she was so concerned that she made an appointment to take the client straight to his G.P surgery in her own car, but whilst waiting for an appointment before leaving the house the client arrested. Sue performed CPR whilst calling the paramedics, despite her own health problems she continued the CPR until help arrived.”

Ashley McConigle, Clinical Nurse Specialist, iCaSH Peterborough

Ashley was nominated by Poppy Reynolds who said: “Ashley joined CCS about 18 months ago and soon became a very well-liked and hard working member of our Peterborough iCaSH family. Ashley has just completed her Symptomatic Sexual Health Training and after a long period of study, largely in her own time, she has passed all her competencies and is providing excellent patient-centred care. But that is not the main reason I am nominating her, it is this, Ashley is such a valuable support to the wider team and everyone from receptionists to consultants benefit from her warm, friendly and sunny disposition and her willingness to always go above and beyond the call of duty in order to provide a service to our patients.

“We have been through a tricky time as a team recently and Ashley has been so supportive to the managers and her colleagues that I felt it was totally appropriate to nominate her for the Shine a Light Award. Largely Ashley is in the background just getting quietly and efficiently on with her work whilst always being a positive role model for others. She is an excellent nurse and work colleague and we are very lucky to have her. Thank you Ashley!”

Jo Macfarlane, Senior Physiotherapist, DynamicHealth, Huntingdon

Jo was nominated by Katrina Linsey who said: “Jo is a consistently conscientious member of staff. She has been extremely supportive during my first year of being her Operational Team Lead. She lives the values of the Trust and is proactive in seeking solutions to problems in a timely manner with professionalism and discretion. She has voluntarily taken on multiple additional responsibilities over the past year.

“I would particularly like to praise her hard work with regards to her role as Physio Advice Line Lead and her help in the extensive service redesign that DynamicHealth has gone through over the past couple of years. She has helped to develop physiotherapists through her supervision of students and more junior staff, with positive feedback. In addition to this, she supports other CCS staff through her work within Occupational Health, in her role as CSP Steward and as part of the Live Life Well Committee. She is a true asset to our team. Thank you, Jo!”

Michelle Leon, Public Health Assistant Practitioner, Nutrition and Dietetics Team, Dunstable

Michelle received four nominations this month. The first nomination was from Levina Harrison who said: “I met Michelle at a careers event at Hertfordshire University. She was so informative and helpful and went out of her way to find out information for me.”

The second nomination was from Regina who said: “I was struggling at the front of the Dunstable Health Centre building with my trolley. I was trying to put it in the buggy area, but a mobility scooter was in the way. The lady asked if I was okay and got the mobility scooter moved. I really thank her for her help.”

The third nomination was from Nussarat Jan who said; “Michelle has been supporting Dallow Stars with workshops, literature and healthy eating ideas. She is always available when needed and I feel she has become part of our team at Dallow Stars.”

The fourth nomination was from Ansar Hussain who said: “Michelle has given us lots of support to gain our healthy eating family food first award. She has guided us and helped our families with projects like active beans and looking at fast foods and how we can help parents to change their behaviour e.g. if they were having takeaway three times a week to cut down to twice a week then once a week etc. This was a very successful project and a few parents changed the amount of times they had takeaways.”

Huge congratulations to all this month’s nominees!



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