Sheffield Health Champion Wins Feel Good Factor Award
Caroline Waugh, a Community Health Champion in Sheffield, has become the regional winner of the ITV Feel Good Factor Award. The award is to celebrate an outstanding individual who supports and enables others to change their lives for the better and is part of the ITV contribution to the national Change4Life campaign. Caroline will now go through to the national final and the winner will be announced at the Pride of Britain Awards in London on the 10thNovember.
In 1988 Caroline suffered a brain injury in a car accident resulting in paralysis down her left hand side and now suffers from problems with her balance and eyesight. She was reliant on a motorised scooter to get around in for a long time, however through her own determination and enthusiasm she learnt to ride a recumbent bike.
A year ago, Caroline joined the Community Health Champions Programme, which is funded by the BIG Lottery and Sheffield Let’s Change 4 Life. She was already cycling with the city’s Cycle for Health Group, however the Community Health Champion Programme has allowed her to support and encourage others to cycle their way to a healthier lifestyle. Acombination of Caroline’s lively personality and her determination to overcome any barriers provides inspiration to both the group members and others she meets to get involved. These combined factors seem to impact on others and while Caroline’s volunteering is benefiting others this increases her own self esteem.
Caroline has received a great deal of support throughout all of this amazing work, in particular from Steve Marsden at CTC (The UK’s National Cyclists’ Association), Pedal Ready who have also trained and supported Caroline, and Miriam Densham, her support worker at Zest. Nigel West, Project Co-ordinator for the Community Health Champions Programme at the Sheffield Well-Being Consortium, has also worked with Caroline over the last year and says:
“I’ve seen real changes in Caroline since she became a Health Champion, and I love the way she inspires others with her enthusiasm and honesty.”
Caroline supports ‘Inclusive Cycling Training’ at Hillsborough Park working alongside Fred, Nick, and Ed who are all ‘Wheels For All’ Qualified Cycle Trainers and is now involved in the national Inclusive Cycling Forum as a Welfare Officer. She attended The National Cycle Show at Earls Court in October where she won a story board with her own printed ‘Personal Story’ on it. Her no-holds-barred blog,http://iaintnotomato.blogspot.comhas a growing number of regular readers.
She has become a trusted ‘confidant’ of many cycling organisations who refer people on for a friendly bit of informal support and help in choosing their first tricycle.
Caroline says: “I really just do what makes me happy, no one forces me or pays me, so I feel very lucky that folk enable me to carry on. I think it’s the folk who help me continue that I’m representing next week. But I suppose the reward is getting Inclusive Cycling noticed by everyone.”