On Thursday 23rd May 2019, I attended the Raring 2go! awards in Bury. The Elizabethan Suite at the Town Hall looked beautiful.
The way the event worked was like this: each category was announced, followed by the name of the finalists. The finalists were invited to stand and then the winner was announced. When it came to my category, I watched as each finalist was announced, and whole tables of people stood. The Calm Within was called and there I stood, just me! It may sound cliched but I did not expect to win. Here was I, a sole trader, just one person, against big companies with multiple employees.
But then the moment came: the golden envelope was opened! (Very Oscars like, I have to say!) And that was it - The Calm Within had won “Best Family Service” in Bury! I was shocked to say the least! The challenge then was to make it all the way across the room (in heels I rarely wear - think Bambi!), up the stairs and to receive my award from the lovely Jayne Deakin, smile for the camera and make my way back - without bursting into tears. For I was so emotionally overwhelmed that that’s what was likely to happen. Thank goodness we didn’t have to do speeches, or it really would have turned into the Oscars!
It was amazing to have won - to have had so many people believe that the service I offer through The Calm Within is a good one, a professional, caring and effective service. That is huge! But more than that - it’s the impact of having a Mental Health and emotional well-being service recognised as being important. It’s not a retailer, a playcentre, a restaurant. All of those things are important and I certainly nominated several, but this is about saying emotional health matters and families are recognising that they CAN access support and don’t have to struggle on alone.
Throughout the evening, people spoke to me about the award; they offered their congratulations, but more importantly, told me that, not knowing what the company was, they had googled or visited the website and had loved what they had seen. They spoke of valuing what the company is all about, and getting mental health services in the community recognised for their importance.
This is what winning the award meant to me. Yes, it is amazing to have my hard work recognised, but also getting the word out there that there is support available. That it is okay to talk about mental health and to ask for help.
And one person can make a difference. Every person that voted for me in the awards made a difference. Think about the world, how many people there are. If we all made one small change, or did one kind act for each other or the earth, how powerful that change could be.
Thank you to Raring2go! Bury for the amazing reward and celebration!