People's Choice Award: Health commissioner reveals winner of prestigious accolade

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The Birmingham Peer Educator Blood, Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Project is the winner of the People's Choice Award chosen by local people as part of Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group’s Equality Awards.

The eight-strong team has been trained to empower the communities of Aston, Sparkbrook and Smethwick with kidney and related health information. The scheme has recruited more than 1,000 donors, a significant result which involved overcoming considerable challenges in tackling a sensitive and taboo subject.

The awards have been organised to recognise and celebrate local groups and organisations that help reduce health inequalities. They’re an opportunity to honour local people who are involved in supporting diverse and vulnerable communities. 

Over 180 people from across the NHS, statutory and voluntary sectors took part in last week’s ceremony. 

The People’s Choice Award was a new addition for this year, with 1,500 people voting for the organisation that they think is worthy of recognition. In addition to the People’s Choice Award, eight other organisations received special awards. 

Prof. Nick Harding, Chair of Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG and local GP, said: “Our communities are diverse and ever-changing but one thing that shines through is the absolute commitment of so many people to tackle health inequalities. The level of innovation and selflessness displayed by all our winners was truly inspiring. 

“I would particularly like to congratulate the Birmingham Peer Educator Blood, Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Project, who won the People’s Choice Award. It was fantastic to see so many people voting for the organisation that they believe is making a real difference locally.

“The Chair’s Award went to not one, but two organisations, the Midland Langer Seva Society who work to help the homeless and poor providing food and support. And the Boathouse Runners, a beginners’ running group who raise the importance of heart health.

“We know people can face many barriers and challenges in accessing health services, but they’re able to do that more easily thanks to people like our People’s Choice Awards winner. It’s these projects and people that make all the difference in tackling health inequalities and making sure people are treated fairly and equally when accessing local services.”

The Equality Awards ceremony took place last week (Thursday 25 February) at West Bromwich Albion Football Club. 

For more information on the winners of the Equality Awards please click here.