A woman who went from taking 21 tablets a day for her mental health condition to working for the Trust that changed her life has won public acclaim.
Debs Taylor, who works for South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, was chosen by public vote as number five in a list of the UK’s health and care’s top 70 stars from the last 70 years.
Battling with depression, Debs was left isolated, lost, and with no desire to go on.
However, after picking up a leaflet for an art group funded by the Trust’s linked charity, Creative Minds, her life was transformed.
She now works for Creative Minds as a peer project support worker and has sold and exhibited her artwork across the country.
Debs, who works in Mirfield and lives in Calderdale, said: “I just wanted to cry I was that shocked. I really was not expecting it, coming fifth was just incredible.
“I’m still buzzing about it. I’m still in shock I’ve come this far in such a short space of time. Life really is different.
“I’m truly humbled and shocked but inspired to keep working as hard as I can for service users and carers in every area of the NHS. Thank you to everyone who voted for me.”
Launched by the NHS Confederation, in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement, the top 70 stars scheme recognises health and care staff who have gone over and above the call of duty and gives them UK-wide recognition as part of the NHS’s 70th birthday celebrations.
Patients, staff and the public were all invited to nominate employees that have made an exceptional contribution to patient care, health and care services and local communities over the last 70 years.
Shortlisted nominations were then put to a public vote last month.