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VIDEO - ARC 2013: Stewards shine at annual awards

5 March 2013 - 2:25pm

Without the work of committed reps in the workplace and at university the CSP would have no voice and no presence. This was the message from Alex Mackenzie, chair of the industrial relations committee, at the 2013 Rep of the year awards.

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Award winners (l-r) Lucy Cocker, Shona Cain, Claire Harding, Lucy Stark and Hannah Weden. Photo: Gabriel Szabo/Guzelian

The awards were presented by CSP chair of council Dr Helena Johnson and CSP president Baroness Ilora Finlay in a ceremony last night.

Ms Mackenzie praised the reps' hard work and achievements.

‘Reps are volunteers and they often devote large amounts of their own time to campaigning and negotiating for better working lives, as well as representing and recruiting CSP members.

‘Their work can sometimes seem never ending and thankless, so this is an opportunity to say a big thank you for their amazing efforts.’

Award-winning CSP stewards and safety reps describe their biggest workplace challenges in 2013. Click to play video

Steward of the Year

The winner of the CSP Steward of the Year award was Shona Cain, a Band 6 physiotherapist at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, who was praised for her tireless work for the trust and for her passionate representation of members in the work place.

Her achievements include organising a ‘phenomenal response’ to the pensions campaign, by arranging pensions meetings at multiple sites and ensuring members were fully aware of all the proposed changes.

She has also been instrumental in encouraging staff to attend the trust’s board meetings and have their say about the planned closure of an A&E department.

After collecting her award Ms Cain told Frontline: ‘I'm really happy to have been nominated by members and I’d just like to thank them for taking the time to show their appreciation, especially at such a difficult time for the trust.’

Safety Rep of the Year

Hannah Weden, a Band 6 rotational MSK physiotherapist at Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust, was named as the CSP Safety Rep of the Year

Mrs Weden was recognised for leading a number of major campaigns that have championed health and safety initiatives and improved members’ working lives. This has included carrying out a stress survey, presenting the results to the head of department and ensuring that measures were taken to address the issues raised.

Mrs Weden said: ‘So much of our work can be done behind the scenes and so many reps work so hard for their members, so these awards are a great testament to the work that can be done. Many more people deserve them!’

Student Rep of the Year

Lucy Stark, a fourth year physiotherapy student at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, was named CSP Student Rep of the Year.

Ms Stark was nominated for her commitment to improving life for physiotherapy students in Scotland and has been described as ‘inspiration for members to get active within the CSP’.

She is currently involved in dealing with the implications of the Protection of Vulnerable Adults Scheme that has been introduced into Scotland, specifically focusing on the impact it may have on allied health profession students.

Commenting on her award she said: ‘I am very honoured to have received this award from the CSP, which acknowledges not only my own contributions, but also the hard work and commitment of all the student representatives.’

Highly Commended

Lucy Cocker, a third year physiotherapy student, was highly commended for her work as a student rep at the University of Birmingham.

Ms Cocker was recognised for her a number of achievements, including setting up a scheme of free evening lectures for students and unemployed graduates.

The scheme has seen qualified lecturers providing free CPD lectures, on topics such as whiplash, amputee rehab and paediatric respiratory; with the aim of allowing people to maintain their skills in the transition between university and employment.

Speaking to Frontline Ms Cocker said: ‘I feel privileged to receive this award. I think it is good that students get the opportunity to showcase what they are able to achieve which engages with the wider society.

'However, although I have received this award, all of the other student reps deserve to be mentioned as there has been some outstanding achievements by UK reps over the past year at regional, national and international level, which is really demonstrating the strong network of future leaders for profession.’

Also highly commended for her work as a safety rep was Claire Harding , a Band 7 physio in trauma and orthopaedics at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust in Truro, Cornwall.

Ms Harding was nominated for her dedicated commitment in promoting the role of health and safety in the workplace.

As well as serving as safety rep for the past 25 years Ms Harding has also worked as a South West regional rep for 10 years. Her nominees described her been easily contactable and ‘always willing to support local reps’.

Commenting on her award she said: ‘I am delighted to be highly commended for this rep of the year award after being chair of the national group for the last four years. I have now stood down as chair but look forward to still being an active member of the national group of regional stewards.’

Baroness Finlay described the winners as inspirational and told the audience that they would be ‘shaping your profession in the future’.

In her closing comments she spoke of her own role as a representative for CSP and said: ‘I will continue to bang the drum for AHPs and continue to let it be known that physios are best placed to represent everybody.’

The awards were supported by Thompsons Solicitors. For more information about the services that Thompsons Solicitors provide, see the link below.

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