BDA Awards & Honours Evening 2018

BDA Awards & Honours Evening 2018

20 June 2018

We hosted our annual Awards Dinner on the evening of 19 June 2018 in Birmingham. The event was overseen by our Honorary Chair Sian O’Shea.

BDA Awards picture


Ambassador of the Year

Our Ambassadors represent the BDA on a whole range of Committees, working groups and task forces within Government, alongside other professions and in other organisations. They allow us to influence policy and advocate on behalf of the profession. The contribution that each of them makes is vital, this award particularly recognises one person who has pushed the boundaries of our impact and influence as well as, often, the boundaries of their own comfort zone.

Awarded to Megan Whelan

Megan has gone above and beyond in her role on the Work Ready steering group including presenting at Health and Wellbeing at Work on behalf of Work Ready; writing blogs and press articles to promote Work Ready; representing Work Ready at various meetings most recently C3 connecting for work breakfast session, more recently she’s taking on the role of helping a student with her research around workplace health. Generally, there is nothing that Megan will not push herself to get involved with for the programme and is an amazing advocate of Work Ready.

Media Spokesperson of the Year

Our media presence and influence continues to increase through our volunteer media spokespeople who offer evidence-based nutritional information and provide a BDA media presence across TV, radio, digital and print media. This award recognises someone who has shown great commitment to this work.

Awarded to Linia Patel  

Linia has been a fantastic Spokesperson this year, really going above and beyond to promote dietitians and evidence-based dietetic practice. Amongst other TV appearances, Linia was a great, balanced representative of the profession as a recurring expert in series 3 of Food: Truth or Scare on BBC 1. As well as sitting on the panel and writing for the Eating Well Living Well magazine, she has been a helpful and speedy volunteer – always willing and able to take press calls at the last minute and with great skill, seamlessly weaving her professional experience and knowledge together with appropriate BDA policy positions.

The Mary Turner Award (Trade Union Representative of the Year)

Our members turn to the trade union in times of need and trade union representative are essential to support our members. They make time to listen to members, solve problems and make a huge difference to members’ lives. In memory of our past President, Mary Turner, the Trade Union Board is proud to recognise a representative who demonstrates the qualities of excellence and commitment in this inaugural award.

 Awarded to Victoria Gray  

 Victoria has been a local trade union rep for South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust in Belfast since 2008 and has chaired the Northern Ireland employment relations committee from 2013-2015, then again from 2017-2018. She has welcomed and supported all new members over her years as Chair and has always actively encouraged people to join the trade union. She has supported her members through trust restructuring and has always shown a true commitment to ensuring staff are treated fairly and created an open route for communication between staff and management.

Branch of the Year   

Our 13 branches are our regional support and development network. They are vital, providing members with CPD events and opportunities to network, learn and share best practice with their dietetic peers at a local level. This annual award recognises one Branch which has typified excellence and best practice in their region.

Awarded to East Scotland

East of Scotland have done a fantastic job - building the connections of dietetics within a really challenging geographical area and embracing technology so that a mix of virtual and face to face meetings has given people the option to join virtually. They have also shared their experiences with the wider dietetic profession outside of their region and all of this was clearly evidenced in their application.

Specialist Group of the Year

Each Specialist Group makes a unique and significant contribution to the BDA’s external work; whilst offering the most current information, leadership and expertise to thousands of BDA members working or specialising in a professional area. They respond to national consultations, represent the profession, advance clinical specialisms, support members and much more. This annual award recognises one specialist group which has demonstrated outstanding leadership and innovation in their specialist area.

Awarded to the Oncology Specialist Group

The Oncology Specialist Group has a developed a WhatsApp for committee members to increase communication and flexibility to respond to issues within the specialist group and a Membership forum to share ideas. Their new twitter account allows access by general BDA members - it is so important to share experiences, successes and expertise.

The BDA Honours are nominated by members, they are given for significant contributions to the profession either locally or in a specific speciality.

Honorary Associateship

Not all the people who contribute to the profession or the BDA are dietitians and council recognises those individuals who work to support the profession with an Honorary Associateship.

Presented to Graeme Copestake

Graeme has been working with the BDA for the past 20 years supporting our financial management. He shares his learning and experience from other professional organisations to benefit our strategic development at council.

IBEX Honour

Council recognises individuals who have made significant contributions to the profession, either locally or in a particular speciality.

Presented to Lisa Cooke, Alison Culkin, Kirstine Farrar, Stuart Galloway, Helen Ream, Laura Stewart and Lynne Thomas.

Lisa Cooke - Lisa was nominated for this honour by the Paediatric Specialist Group. She is committed to the profession and is a valuable member of the BDA, hardworking, compassionate and caring. Lisa has been very active in both the Paediatric and HIV Care Specialist Groups and has been the lead organiser of the Paediatric Group Annual Study Day on many occasions as well as Chair in 2010 – 2012. She has also been a tutor and assessor for the MSC APP in paediatric Dietetics since its inception.  

Alison Culkin – Alison was nominated for this honour by the BDA Parental & Enteral Nutrition Group. She is the course leader for the PENG Masters Clinical Update Course on artificial nutrition support in conjunction with Queen Margaret’s University, Edinburgh. She is the PENG clinical lead for parenteral nutrition (and supplementary prescribing) and represents dietetics on the British Intestinal Failure Alliance committee. Alison was actively involved in the supplementary prescribing BDA working group which resulted in a positive decision being made by the Department of Health for dietitians to become supplementary prescribers. Alison was the first dietitian to successfully complete such a course and has been a real inspiration for others in this area.

Kirstine Farrer – Kirstine has been an active Committee member of the PEN Specialist Group for many years and more recently has been active in the Gastroenterology Specialist Group. She has led the profession’s representation externally on such groups as the NHSE Clinical Working Group on Intestinal failure. She has also been part of an award-winning team leading the implementation of the Salford Malnutrition Task Force as well as heavily influencing the Greater Manchester Population Health Plan. Kirstine’s role spans her Consultant clinical role through to prevention and public health strategies, embodying the great impact dietitians can have on health, both locally and nationally.

Stuart Galloway - Stuart was instrumental in the development of the Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr) in 2006, a new and collaborative initiative for the BDA. In 2010, he accepted the role of Chair of the Registration Committee. In 2015, he was voted into the role of Chair of the newly established combined Board, a post which he still retains.

Helen Ream – Helen has been awarded this honour for her work in food services, improving food for people in hospitals and care homes through working with caterers and dietitians on national initiatives. Helen has worked to cement relationships with catering and nursing colleagues through joint planning and delivery of national study events including ‘The Power of 3’ and ‘The Last 9 Yards’. She has been an active member of the Food Services Specialist group of the BDA since its inception and inaugural meeting - as the interest group “Food Counts” in 2002 - holding a number of committee positions over this time.

Laura Stewart – Laura was nominated for this honour by the BDA Scotland Board. She is an expert childhood obesity dietitian with both an academic and clinical background. Her 30 plus year career demonstrates a strong commitment to dietetic practice in the area of childhood obesity.

Lynne Thomas - Lynne has worked tirelessly with other Healthcare professionals and been instrumental in the coordination of the diabetes framework for Northern Ireland. She has been integral in the development and roll out of the DM electronic record template ensuring dietetic information is captured to enable service evaluation to take place, but most importantly that relevant service user information is recorded to benefit patient care and patient outcomes. She is seen as a dietetic champion and leader in this area.

Fellowship Honour

The Fellowship of the Association was first awarded in 1979 and to date 96 Fellowships have been awarded. The Fellowship is the highest honour which the Association can bestow upon a member in recognition of their achievements.

Presented to Francesca Annan, June Copeman and Fiona McCullough  

Francesca Annan - Francesca was nominated for this honour by members of the Diabetes Paediatric Sub-group. She has contributed to the Diabetes Specialist Group (formerly Diabetes Management and Education Group - DMEG) for many years. Frankie, along with Karen Ross and Frances Hanson, was instrumental in creating the Paediatric sub-group 11 years ago. Francesca has remained highly supportive of the committee and has contributed to many roles within the paediatric sub-group until taking up the position of Chair in 2015.

June Copeman - June was nominated for this honour for her commitment to the profession and outstanding work in developing dietetic practice through both pre-and post-registration education.

Fiona McCullough -  As Chairman, Fiona’s theme was workplace health, which coincided with the development of the Work Ready programme. Fiona’s championship of the topic and the programme itself, ensured that Work Ready became firmly established in the BDA. In addition to the various BDA roles since 2006, including that of Honorary Chairman, Fiona has been an ambassador on the international stage. A BDA representative to the European Federation of Associations of Dietitians, Fiona attended executive meetings for many years around the world. She is now the voluntary Chairman of the EFAD Education and Lifelong Learning Committee, a role she is passionate about and continues to demonstrate her expertise in this area as well as her ability to continue to be an ambassador at an international level, even after her role as Chairman has ended.

General Education Trust (GET)

We also presented awards to the General Education Trust Award Winners.

Presented by Morag MacKellar OBE and Sue Acreman 

Rose Simmonds Award

Awarded to Avril Collinson & Mary Hickson for their published work Future Dietitian 2025: Informing the development of a workforce strategy for dietetics.   

Dame Barbara Clayton Award

Awarded to Adele Robertson and Lisa Macleman for innovation and excellence in dietetic practice for their work Florence and the low FODMAP diet: Improving dietetic capacity and patient pathway with telehealth.

We will be profiling the winners of the GET Awards in more detail soon.

We woud like to thank the following people for their involvement in the presentations; Sian O’Shea, Caroline Bovey, Kate Hall, Pauline Mulholland, Lisa Folwell, Louise Francis, Sue Kellie, Jo Instone, Sue Acreman and Morag MacKellar OBE.

More information about the BDA Awards

More information on the BDA Honours 

More information on the Trust Fund

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