A health worker from Great Harwood who supports military veterans experiencing drug or alcohol problems has won a prestigious national award.
Belinda Laming, a drug and alcohol caseworker for the North West Military Veterans’ Service, won the Military Civilian Health Partnership Awards in the Healthcare Civilian of the Year category.
The Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust worker helps ex-servicemen and women address their substance misuse before going on to receive psychological support.
Belinda, who is a veteran herself having served in the Royal Navy for six years, said she was ‘delighted’ to win the award.
She said: “When I meet individuals for the first time, they’ve lost self-respect and they genuinely believe they’re not worth helping.
“When I tap into the reason that they wanted to become a member of the British Armed Forces and they rediscover that pride and it helps give them that sense of self-worth back – it’s absolutely priceless.”
Belinda’s role sees her offer expert advice to health staff working with clients who have substance misuse difficulties which impact on their therapy.
She also acts as a key link between the Military Veterans’ Service and the prison and probation services in the North West, supporting those with criminal records to access treatment.
Belinda, who is also the wife and mother of ex-forces personnel with her husband serving 23 years in the Navy and her son 10 years in the Army, was presented with the award at a ceremony Whittington.
Dr Alan Barrett, principal clinical psychologist and clinical lead, said that Belinda
was a great asset to the service.
He said: “We are incredibly lucky to have Belinda in the team.
“It allows us not to have to turn any veteran away from the service due to alcohol or substance misuse and she routinely goes above and beyond to help our clients.
“She’s very persistent and she never gives up on people.
“We’re pleased her efforts have been recognised.”