Healthwatch Darlington ‘Highly Commended’ in Prestigious National Award

Healthwatch Darlington has been recognised in a prestigious national awards scheme for their volunteering programme Youthwatch Darlington which has helped improve the provision of information for young people and mental health across Darlington.
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Healthwatch Darlington was ‘highly commended’ in the ‘Celebrating our volunteer team’ category in the Healthwatch Awards 2020, which were run by Healthwatch England last week.

This virtual event celebrated the difference Healthwatch’s 4,400 staff and volunteers made over the past year and Healthwatch Darlington was one of only 12 local Healthwatch to be highly commended by judges, out of a total of 152 across England.

Commenting on the recognition, Healthwatch Darlington Chief Executive, Michelle Thompson BEM said:

“A charity’s greatest asset is its volunteers and we are so incredibly proud of Youthwatch Darlington. This award not only recognises the hard work and dedication of our young people at a national level, but demonstrates how listening to and supporting young volunteers to use their voice and encourage new ideas can influence services at a local level. They have made a difference to Darlington and their input has been acknowledged by local commissioners and providers, what a fantastic accolade for our Healthwatch family!

Jemma Austin, Senior Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator from Healthwatch Darlington said:

“Our young volunteers have become well respected representatives for young people in Darlington. They have been recognised for their creative awareness raising ideas as well as working with local health services to improve information for young patients in the town. Our work with our volunteers recognised at a national level is a very proud moment for everyone at Healthwatch Darlington. A huge well done to all of our volunteers from Youthwatch Darlington they truly deserve this. ”

Sir Robert Francis QC, Chair of Healthwatch England, said:

"I never stop being inspired by the dedication of local Healthwatch staff to making care better for their communities.
"Whether reaching out those whose views are not being heard, helping people to find the support they need or making sure NHS and social care services act on the improvements that the public want to see, the award entries highlight the difference local Healthwatch make.”

Download the press release here


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Youthwatch Darlington interview NSPCC and Kooth for this year's Children's Mental Health Week 2021.