22nd July 2022

Patients from an NHS mental health ward in Lincoln run by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT), have been recognised at the National Service User Awards by being shortlisted in two categories, including for their fundraising efforts to help those affected by the conflict in Ukraine.

A patient at Francis Willis Unit based at Lincoln County Hospital, who was directly affected by the conflict in Ukraine, decided to launch the ‘Cycle for Ukraine’ project, to raise money for British Red Cross Humanitarian Effort and help patients and staff to improve their fitness.

Patients cycled an impressive 500 miles in a week and raised £400 for the charity. This led them to become finalists in the ‘Health and Wellbeing’ category of the awards.

Louise Bannister, Francis Willis Unit Ward Manager, said:

“We are really proud of all our patients, not just for the awards but for all the hard work they have put in to creating their projects. I have been part of the awards since they started in 2012 and to be shortlisted in multiple categories is incredible.

“Patients and staff all stepped up in support of our patient who was directly affected by the crisis, to do their bit not only for him but for all the people in Ukraine.”

A new group called ‘Every Voice’ which includes patients from several different LPFT wards, ensures that good practice and feedback is shared across the Trust and helps to develop services. The judging panel were impressed by the level of co-production in this project and added it to the shortlist, again for contribution to Health and Wellbeing.

Another patient, Chris, is a finalist in the Outstanding Service User Leadership Award category. Chris started off by chairing ward meetings and participating in interview panels and throughout all his time working on different projects, he has mentored and trained other peers to enable them to work effectively as Experts by Experience.

Paula Jelly, LPFT Associate Director of Operations, said:

“I am so proud of the amazing fundraising efforts and fantastic projects on Francis Willis Unit which are making positive changes to the service and the wellbeing of patients and staff.

“To be finalists in these awards is such great recognition of their innovation, collaboration and commitment. I hope these achievements inspire others within NHS services to get involved.”

Francis Willis Unit patients were thrilled to win two awards in 2021, in the ‘Recovery and the Arts’ category for Smart Phone Movie Making and the ‘Health and Wellbeing’ category for their Monthly Health Challenge project.

The winners of the National Service User Awards 2022 will be announced on Wednesday 14 September.

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