Mike Tomkinson Award
The Mike Tomkinson Award is given in memory of our late Founding Chairman who did so much to heighten awareness of dementia in our community and who fought hard to improve the services offered to people with dementia and their families. He was also instrumental in setting up the Jersey Alzheimer's Association following the break-away from the Alzheimer's Society in the UK.
The Award is presented annually by his wife Annette to a group or individual who has made an outstanding contribution to helping those with dementia and their families in the Island.
At a Conference on Dementia: Dementia Care - ‘Aspiring to Excellence in Jersey’ hosted by HSSD and the RCN at the General Hospital in St Helier on Thursday 21 September, Mark Blamey, Manager of JAA, said these words:
The winner of this year’s Mike Tomkinson Award is Clinical Nurse Specialist Practice Development Inpatients at Jersey General Hospital, Tim Hill.
It has been one of the highlights of the year for Jersey Alzheimer’s Association to work closely with Tim, and her colleagues, in this Hospital.
As my colleague, Michala Graham, says:
‘Tim always shows enthusiasm, determination and commitment to make a difference to the lived experience of dementia for the staff and her colleagues at the General Hospital, and ultimately all those who are affected by dementia’.
Michala, Sian and I have worked with Tim since initial discussions took place about how to make Wards more carer-friendly with open visiting hours, identifiers to aid support for those with memory difficulties, crockery choices to improve mealtimes, and new signage - to name but a few!
In addition Tim’s involvement has been crucial in supporting the Occupational Therapists with their pilot project for Activity Boxes/Trollies, as well as improving the environment within the day room on Beauport Ward.
Tim is always keen to put her hand to anything dementia-related. She has spoken to carers about the Future Hospital at a meeting of our charity’s monthly Friendship Group at Sandybrook Day Centre, with Bernard Place.
She has encouraged members of the public to share their experiences of care within the Hospital in order to reflect on best practice and improve care.
She has organised cake sales, and baked wonderful cakes.
Tim has helped make real improvements at the Hospital today as well as encourage us all to look forward with commitment, hope and ambition to the new facility, the Future Hospital.
Tim clearly feels passionately about improving the lives of those affected by dementia. For these reasons - and more - the winner of this year’s Mike Tomkinson Award is Tim Hill.
At the World Alzheimer's Day Tea Party on Friday 23 September Mark Blamey, Manager, said the following words:
'For our charity person-centred care means that when someone rings up or visits us, everything else is put to one side and we listen...really listen to their story.
I once attended an ‘Investors in People’ course. The course was all about how to improve the openness and culture of the firm I was then working for. One of the key messages from the course which I have never forgotten is this:
‘The most important person in any organisation is the individual who picks up the phone when people call, and is first to greet people when they visit.’
Ever since this year’s winner of the Mike Tomkinson Award started working for the charity, they have ‘gone the extra mile’. They have always put people first and have been an excellent ambassador for our work.
When I told Annette Tomkinson who the Trustees had decided should receive this year’s Mike Tomkinson Award she said this:
‘That is brilliant! Mike was a huge fan and supporter of the person as he always felt this individual put in many more hours than they were paid for, is kind to everyone and is just a lovely person, so easy to talk to…’ and, Annette added, ‘is someone who always makes me laugh’!
By now I hope you will have guessed that the winner of this year’s Mike Tomkinson Award is Bev Woolley.
Bev began working with the Alzheimer's Society Jersey Branch on 1 October 2008 following the leasing of the Town Hall Office in July of that year. Bev set up the Office environment and created the role of Administrator from nothing. In the early days Bev also attended Saturday Club to give hand massages to guests. If anyone can multi-task, while keeping a sense of humour when under real pressure, then it’s Bev.
Thank you, Bev, for all that you do, for caring so very much about the people we support, and, above all, for always telling it as it is!
So in recognition of her outstanding work for the charity over the past eight years, the winner of the 2016 Mike Tomkinson Award is Bev Woolley.'
In recognition of her outstanding work as a Social Activities Co-ordinator, the winner of the 2015 Mike Tomkinson Award is Fay Baudin.
At the World Alzheimer's Day Tea Party on Friday 25 September Mark Blamey, Manager, said the following words:
'One of our charity's principal aims is to enable people with dementia to live well. Like many we are passionate about 'person-centred care' which involves seeing the person first, rather than their diagnosis.
Meaningful activity is vitally important in whatever setting, based on a person's wishes, ability and potential. It is in essence about honouring the identity of each person. Activities are planned on the basis of an individual's life history and their present likes and dislikes: activities which as a result provide fulfilment and purpose 'in the moment'.
Fay has worked for many years in this vitally important role: firstly at Overdale Hospital, then Beech Ward, then after Fay had retired, in Maple Ward and the Forget me not Café in Clinique Pinel.
I have seen many times the way in which Fay's infectious enthusiasm and commitment bring joy and happiness to those whose lives are profoundly affected by dementia. During Fay's work caring for the elderly, and in her continuing work in this field, she has consistently demonstrated how important meaningful activity is for us all.
As Fay knows well, being an Activities Co-ordinator involves encouraging everyone who is in a position to effect change to take activities seriously, and never to leave it to only one person. With her personality and character, Fay has improved the lives of countless people living with dementia in Jersey and for this she deserves our thanks and our applause.'
Since Annette Tomkinson was unable to attend this year's World Alzheimer's Day event, Mike's grandsons, Thomas and Michael, presented the Award to Fay.
This year the Mike Tomkinson Award was presented to Trixie Moulin. Since 2008 when Trixie and her husband, Lawrence, who lived with dementia, first came to Musical Memories, Trixie has worked tirelessly as a volunteer, helping others at Friendship Group, the Café at Clinique Pinel, Musical Memories, and regular events such as the Association of Jersey Charities' Christmas Fair in the Town Hall.
It might feel a bit daunting on your first visit to one of our charity's activities to walk into a room where you know no-one. In that situation you need someone who will give you a warm welcome, someone who has walked a similar path to the path you find yourself on. Trixie is just such a person. She is kind, generous and a very good listener, encouraging all those in need.
On World Alzheimer's Day, which was celebrated on Friday 20 September this year, the Mike Tomkinson Award was presented by Mike's wife, Annette, in memory of the founding Chairman of Jersey Alzheimer's Association, Mike Tomkinson, who sadly died very suddenly three years ago.
The Award is given to a person or group who have done something outstanding to improve the lives of those living with dementia. This year the Award was presented to Jo Cummins, who has been the Manager of Jersey Alzheimer's Association for the past seven years.
Before the Award was made, the Honorary Secretary, Kim Averty, spoke about Jo's work for the charity. Initially Jo's contract had stipulated six hours per week but soon Jo was working more like sixty hours each
Jo has a background as a professional journalist and cared for her mother who lived with dementia for ten years. She has been responsible for setting up many of the charity's major initiatives, including the Friendship Group and Musical Memories. Jo has tirelessly campaigned to improve the lives of people with dementia, their carers and families in Jersey, and she has helped to raise the profile of the charity and dementia care in general.
As reported in the Jersey Evening Post, on receiving the Award, Jo said: 'It is a great privilege and I can't believe that I've been rewarded for doing the job that I love. It's come as a shock and it really is a great honour. To me the Jersey Alzheimer's Association is more than a charity, it's a family'.
The winners were the students on the Alternative Curriculum.
Presentation of the Mike Tomkinson Award to the
Alternative Curriculum students
These teenagers have worked tirelessly over two years to produce artwork, photographs and woodcraft to help brighten the environment in the dementia units at Clinique Pinel. Jo said it was heartwarming to see these young people show such understanding and empathy towards all the issues surrounding dementia especially as many of them had their own challenges to face. Head Teacher, Kevin Mansell, said it was wonderful that the students' work had been recognised and said receiving the Award was the highlight in his teaching career.
An example of the artwork gracing the walls at Clinique Pinel
In 2010, the recipient was Brian Wilson, former Manager of Rosewood House St Saviour's Hospital, which provides a permanent residence for those who cannot cope any longer at home.
Annette Tomkinson and Brian Wilson with the Award
Mike was a great admirer of Brian's work and it was his wish that Brian's achievements should be recognised on his retirement.
Brian worked hard over many years to improve conditions for those with dementia and admitted that it was often an uphill struggle. Good services for this vulnerable group of people always seemed to be at the bottom of the list of priorities of Health managers and politicians. Brian fought hard for the people in his care, and their families, which he admits did not always make him popular, but it is thanks to him that conditions at Rosewood House improved immensely throughout his years as manager.
We are delighted to say that, although he has supposedly retired, Brian still shows a keen interest in the work of the Jersey Alzheimer's Association and gives us his continuing support. He also continues to support his former staff and colleagues who are building on the foundations that he laid down.