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Heidi Forster, received the Dignity and Respect award at the Making Space Volunteer and Service User Awards for her volunteering work in Blackpool
Heidi Forster, received the Dignity and Respect award at the Making Space Volunteer and Service User Awards for her volunteering work in Blackpool
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A young volunteer is celebrating after being recognised for the work she does with Fylde coast people with mental health conditions.

Heidi Forster received the Dignity and Respect award at the Making Space Volunteer and Service User Awards, held to mark the health and social care charity’s 35th anniversary.

Heidi, a 23-year-old support worker, who has an art degree, set up an art group in July 2016 for tenants in the Queenstown supported housing development, in Blackpool, run by Making Space. Every week, she travels from her home in Blackburn, to deliver a class to a group of adults with mental health conditions.

She was nominated by Making Space Blackpool and Wyre team leader William Berry. Making Space provides services for people with physical and mental support needs, including learning difficulties and dementia.

William said: “Since Heidi started the group, tenant numbers have increased due to word-of-mouth. The group is enjoyable and conducted in a relaxed and therapeutic environment.

“The art skills of the tenants have grown immensely and the their confidence has grown to the extent they held an exhibition in July. Heidi works with people in a special way and she always takes the time to ensure everyone in the group is involved.”

Heidi could not make the awards ceremony due to work commitments, but said: “It was a shame I couldn’t go, but it’s very nice to be given an award. Although that’s not why I do this – I love the classes. Everyone’s at different levels and some people want to come for a chat and a brew. It’s great that the work the tenants and I do has been acknowledged.”