Our ‘rewarding and humbling’ role

Sue Fanning, right, with Dr Maggie Atkinson, Children's Commissioner for England
Sue Fanning, right, with Dr Maggie Atkinson, Children's Commissioner for England
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When it comes to tackling health issues, working with families is paramount. AASMA DAY finds out about two parents who have committed themselves to improving mental health services for young people in Lancashire and have now received a national award for their effort.

Working in partnership with health services when your child has an illness is important as parents Sue Funning and Eddie Manion know only too well.

Both saw their daughters receive support while ill and come out the other side, and both are now doing well and studying towards further education.

Sue and Eddie wanted to give something back, and have worked with staff at inpatient mental health services at The Platform in Preston and The Junction in Lancaster.

They have now been rewarded for their hard work with a National NHS England Participation award.

Sue and Eddie won the Participant of the Year category for their work as members of Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Participation Team.

They have helped for more than six years, notably to support the development of a Family Support Group and changing the inpatient catering arrangements to become self-catering.

The award acknowledges their work with management and staff at The Junction and The Platform.

Lindy Simpson, participation lead and specialist social worker at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’m proud to have nominated Sue and Eddie for this award and so excited they won.

“It is testament to their hard work and commitment. Every member of staff had a part to play in this success.

“This category recognises people who show extraordinary commitment to participating in service development in the NHS.

“The impact of the participation work in the Child and Adult Mental Health Services inpatient service deserves national recognition and it is great Sue and Eddie have achieved this.”

Michael Himsworth, participation worker, says: “The award is further acknowledgement of the importance of participation.

“The service was developed with families and young people’s views influence everything we do.

“We support young people to be totally involved in their health decisions as well as improving the service.”

Sue and Eddie say: “We are absolutely thrilled to have won this award.

“It is rewarding and humbling to be part of the team as these services are amazing and we want to give something back.

“We feel the work being done at the Junction in Lancaster and The Platform in Preston is so important enabling young people and families to work through their illnesses in a safe and therapeutic environment.

“Both our daughters are now well and studying hard towards further education.”

The Excellence in Participation awards celebrate the outstanding contributions of people and organisations across the country who are transforming people’s lives, improving health and care services and putting patients, service users, carers and communities at the very heart of health and care.

The Junction, which has eight beds for 12 to 16 year olds and The Platform, with six beds for 16 to 18 year olds, are the Inpatient Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service provision for Lancashire, South Cumbria Blackpool and Blackburn with Darwen.

They provide assessment and treatment for young people with psychosis, eating disorders, mood disorders, anxiety and self harm.

The services are accessed through the Community CAMHS Teams and the CRISIS service.