We received nearly 200 entries in for our first Health & Social Care Awards. Here Martin Tedham, chairman of our headline sponsor Wasdell Group, explains why he’s proud his firm is on board.

I agreed that the Wasdell Group would partner Newsquest in the Health & Social Care awards because my own personal experience, and my experience gained supporting the pharmaceutical and medical professions, has made me realise how many different people of all backgrounds are involved in caring for all of us.

Someone once described Swindon as a northern town, that just happens to be in the south. As someone who comes from north of the border, I couldn’t agree more. Having lived and worked in this part of the world for so long, I already knew that Swindon and north Wiltshire is a warm, welcoming community full of people who look out for each other and lend a helping hand when it’s needed.

Awards logo

Awards logo

But even so, I hadn’t quite anticipated two things. Firstly, that in our midst there are so many people who see their profession, or their role as a carer, as a vocation rather than a job. And secondly, that so many readers have not only appreciated their contribution over the past year, but have been blown away by it. The number of people who have taken the time to document the continued selflessness shown by their nurses, doctors, teachers, neighbours and others is fantastic. It is so touching to see that so many readers have not only appreciated those who have gone well beyond the call of duty, but want to see them receive the recognition that they deserve.

Of course, not everyone can be a finalist or a winner on the night. But I can say this. Everyone who has been nominated – and everyone who has taken the trouble to nominate them – is a winner. They have risen to a challenge that has been unprecedented, and done us all proud. I’m delighted that Wasdell is supporting Newsquest's bid to recognise these local heroes, and say a heartfelt “thank you” to every one of them.