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Volunteer with Lancashire Care secures prestigious award

Posted on the 25th May 2016

A brilliant volunteer with Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Contraception and Sexual Health Team (CaSH) has jointly won a prestigious regional annual NHS award for her work and contributions in healthcare in the North West.

Charlotte Lyle, a volunteer with the Trust who is from Nelson, has been jointly-named Volunteer of the Year in the “North West Adult Learners’ Week Awards in Health and Care 2016.” The awards are an annual event organised by NHS Health Education England to encourage people to identify and champion “brilliant people and brilliant ideas” that have been transforming care in the region.

As part of her voluntary role, Charlotte also supported the Community Education Sexual Health Team (CESH) after being introduced to the service while on a Princes Trust programme. During her time with CaSH, Charlotte liaised with professionals, ethnic minority groups and also young people to create resources for LGBT teenagers to help them understand the risks of unprotected sex in an environment almost exclusively focused on heterosexuality.

Sue Roscow from the Trust’s Contraception and Sexual Health Team (CaSH) in which the Community Education Sexual Health Team (CESH) is located said: “Charlotte is a unique individual who added a great deal to our team. She is someone who dares to ask questions others would not. She spent some 12 months as a volunteer with us and during that time she exhibited some wonderful characteristics in really transforming healthcare in the North West. She gained a lot of confidence along the way and worked with health professionals, black and Asian people and young people to develop resources targeted to help LGBT teens understand the risks of unprotected sex. This was done in an atmosphere that is generally focused on heterosexuality. She would constantly reflect back and inspire everyone to be more considerate in the delivery of services.”

Charlotte Lyle said: “I am thrilled to have won this award which is a touching tribute to the time I have spent with the Community Education Sexual Health Team (CESH). The team helped me along in many ways and I can proudly say my entire volunteering experience was all about learning. I gained a huge deal of experience which helped me move forward with my life and find a sense of direction. The entire experience helped my emotional health and wellbeing as well as my academic and professional development. It also made me feel more positive. I believe everyone has the ability to achieve great things in life; they just need the correct support and guidance. I met many different people during my time at CESH and the experience helped me to make a difference in the way sexual health services are provided to the communities they work with.”

Charlotte will now receive her award at a regional awards ceremony on 16 June organised by Health Education England at Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery.