TWO public sector workers have been nominated for the Community Pride’s Public Sector Hero award for their dedication to helping others through health and wellbeing training.
Angela Whitehall and Mark Willis are the team behind the city's health and wellbeing courses, and between them help people transform their lives through the training.
Manager Angela Whitehall is responsible for raising funds, and goes to meetings with the council and other organisations to promote the courses, while her colleague Mark Willis delivers the courses with "passion, belief and love for the subject".
The pair have been nominated by Gavin Dickinson, who himself attended one of the courses and now volunteers to help others at them. He said he believes they deserve to be the joint winners of Public Sector Hero award, which is sponsored by the City of York Council and recognises the unsung heroes whose dedication to their work is second to none.
Gavin said that without Angela’s efforts to find vital funding there would be a limit on the courses available for people who need help to recover from anxiety, depression and mental illnesses, lack of confidence and social phobias.
He added: “She makes space available for people to develop their skills, believe in themselves and to go meet like minded people and learn to live again.
“Without these two people, giving their time to teach classes, sometimes three a day, the courses offered by York Council would be much inferior.”
Gavin said: “There are many people in York who are recovering from mental illness and learning to cope with anxiety. Due to the courses, delivered by Angela and Mark, they are learning to live with their illness and have gained more self-confidence.”
Beside's Angela's organisation, it is Mark's teaching that makes the courses special.
Gavin said: “Mark can relate to people who attend and is testament to the fact that he believes in what he teaches and is proof it works,
“Although some may say this is their 'job' as they are paid employees, Angela and Mark go ‘way beyond’ what could be expected of them giving more than their working hours.”
"Many in York are grateful for their work, being tutored by them and being able to rely on their wisdom when they need help guidance and support."
- Do you know a Public Sector Hero? Nominations are open until July 18, and we want to hear about the uncelebrated stars of the public sector in York.
Nominations can be made online via yorkpress.co.uk/pride.