BDA Awards Recognise Dietetic Excellence

03 July 2019


Tuesday 2 July 2019 - BDA & GET Award Winners along with recipients of our Ibex Honour

The BDA were delighted to celebrate excellence in dietetics at our annual awards and honours evening on July 2nd in Birmingham. The profession came together to recognise and reward members excelling in their respective feilds, presided over by our Chair Caroline Bovey.  

BDA members recieve recognition for their work in research, in the media, in practice and as advocates for the profession politically. We've seen so much great work this year that we had an unprecidented number of shortlisters in many categories - and the Mary Turner Award for outstanding trade union representative even had joint winners! 

We've included short paragraphs on the context of each award and the winners below. 


BDA Awards 2019

BDA Awards recognise BDA member volunteers and advocates who have shown excellence and gone above and beyond to promote dietetics, and protect and support their colleagues in the work place. 


BDA Ambassador of the Year 

Presented by Marc Seale, Chief Executive, HCPC

Our Ambassadors work with governments, parliaments and assemblies, organisations, charities and professional bodies to represent the BDA, influence policy and advocate for dietetics. This award recognises ambassadors who went above and beyond in that role.

Shortlisted for the Award: 

• Denise King and Heather Norris

• Duane Mellor, Julie Taplin and Paul McArdle 

• Ursula Arens

Awarded to Ursula Arens  

Ursula Arens has been a truly tireless ambassador for both the BDA and the profession of dietetics during 2018/19. She has been involved in not just one but two major BDA projects – our One Blue Dot toolkit on sustainable diets and our campaign to introduce folic acid fortification of flour alongside partners SHINE and the RCOG. Both these projects have involved a huge amount of time and commitment, and in both cases are helping to shape national policy and ensure that the dietetic profession is at the heart of the conversation. Ursula has attended and spoken at conferences and events on our behalf (often at her own initiative), always feeding back to head office and providing useful leads and contacts. She has also manned BDA stands at events such as New Scientist Live and Food Matters Live, as well as contributing to DT and other external publications on behalf of the BDA. A constant fount of knowledge and good advice, the BDA head office team are always very grateful for Ursula’s willingness to help!  



BDA Media Spokesperson of the Year 

Presented by Kate Halliwell, Head of UK Diet and Health Policy, Food and Drink Federation

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

Shortlisted for the Award: Clare Thornton-Wood and Emer Delaney

Awarded to Clare Thornton-Wood   

Clare has earned this year’s award through her consistency and willingness to help. Her work has included high profile and last-minute TV calls (BBC News, Food Unwrapped). She has been flexible, available and quick to respond throughout the year, as well as friendly and professional when dealing with staff and journalists. This flexibility has meant that we have been able to get a dietitian into media spaces which would have otherwise been filled with someone less-qualified.  


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

Presented by Tony Rupa, BDA Legal 

BDA Trade Union Reps stand up for BDA members and dietetics. Our former President Mary Turner understood the importance of the workplace trade union rep. The Mary Turner Award recognises a rep who has shown excellence and commitment in their role.

Shortlisted for the Award: Hazel Cheung and Susan Walsh 

Awarded jointly to Hazel Cheung and Susan Walsh 

Hazel Cheung and Susan Walsh are two experienced Trade Union Reps who supported BDA members within their department with complicated personal cases, and represented them at hearings. They have assisted members through TUPE and merger processes within the Liverpool area. Their effort are valued and appreciated in ensuring fairness of process, and we thank them for their time and efforts by recognising them with the Mary Turner Award. 


 BDA Branch of the Year  

Presented by Shumone Ray, NNEdPro  

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. 

Shortlisted for the Award: South Wales and Yorkshire 

Awarded to Yorkshire Branch

The Yorkshire branch successfully implemented several strategies to enhance membership engagement and promote dietetics in the local area. They were willing to listen to the needs of their members and put their members firmly at the heart of everything that they deliver. The branch has embraced technology and social media to raise the profile of dietetics and communicate with members, the public and the wider BDA.  

The Yorkshire branch has continued to innovate their approach to engage their members and the dietetic community and have enjoyed great success in their approach.  

 BDA Specialist Group of the Year 

Presented by Dr Joanne Fillingham, Clinical Director Allied Health Professions (AHPs), NHS England & NHS Improvement

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. This annual award recognises one specialist group which has demonstrated outstanding leadership and innovation in their specialist area. 

Shortlisted for the Award: Diabetes, Paediatric and Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition 

Awarded to the Diabetes Specialist Group

The Diabetes Specialist Group had an outstanding year, developing a number of key areas to promote dietetics to the public, the media and allied professions. 

Their successful engagement strategy has resulted in exceptional lobbying, influencing and campaigning, allowing the group to lead the discussion on the care, treatment and prevention of diabetes across the UK. 

The group has used social media to create a thriving and supportive community for their members and has seen significant membership growth throughout the year. 

The Diabetes Specialist Group is a community that every dietitian working in any area within diabetes should be encouraged and excited to join. 


BDA Honours

The BDA Honours are nominated by members and are given to BDA members who make a significant contribution to the profession either locally or in a specific speciality.  

IBEX Honour 

Presented by Lord Balfe, BDA President

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

Presented to: Carole-Anne Fleming, Frances Hanson and Sian Lewis 

Carole-Anne Fleming is the Dietetic Clinical Team Lead for the Adult Acute Oncology Dietitians in Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS, she has been involved with PENG in several Committee roles over last 20 years (including Chair) and is currently PENG Education Officer. She has tutored at the PENG Clinical Update Course for over 20 years, was part of the collaborative group that developed the course to Masters level and has been author of chapters in the PENG Clinical Handbook ‘Pocket Guide to Clinical Nutrition’.

With Carole-Anne’s recognised experience and professionalism as well as being an ambassador for dietetics and for improving nutritional care she was invited to be a member of the ‘complex nutritional care standards Scotland in 2015’.

Frances Hanson has been one of the key dietitians working in the field of Paediatric Diabetes Dietetics for over twenty years. She currently works at Leeds Children’s Hospital as the Lead Diabetes Dietitian.

She has been involved in a number of initiatives including:

  • Being the current Diabetes UK Champion for the Northern and Yorkshire region
  • Developing an innovative web based digital video platform designed to transform the educational support available to children and young people with type 1 diabetes, and their families
  • She is one of the founding members of what was then the paediatric subgroup of the Diabetes Management and Education Group (DMEG). This group was founded in 2007. Frances served on the Committee until 2018 and undertook a number of roles including Chair. She held the position of National Education Officer from 2015-2018.

Sian Lewis is awarded the Ibex for her outstanding commitment to Dietetics and Oncology. Sian has been an active member of the Oncology Specialist Group Committee and held the position of the Chair of the group from 2013, followed by the position of Treasurer from 2017-2018.

Sian led many projects during her time on the committee, perhaps the most notable was the development of the BDA Oncology outcome tool. Along with completing the tool, Sian also led on its dissemination through the BDA Oncology Specialist Group study day and created a video to help guide members.

Another notable achievement was how Sian embraced social media. Using Twitter she, along with other committee members, used this forum to spread the message that a Registered Dietitian is the most appropriate person to give dietary advice to those with cancer. The account has now grown to over 1000 followers and is regularly used to promote the role of an Oncology Dietitian.

General Education Trust (GET) Awards

Sue Acreman and Ruth Crowder presented awards to the General Education Trust Award Winners.

Rose Simmonds Award for a published piece of work in a peer reviewed journal

Awarded to: Sorrel Burden 

Pre-operative oral nutritional supplementation with dietary advice versus dietary advice alone in weight-losing patients with colorectal cancer: single-blind randomized controlled trial. 

“Despite a wide range of entries the judges were unanimous in their decision for a number of reasons. The study demonstrates clear patient benefits that can be achieved at relatively low cost through an intervention that could be incorporated into routine dietetic practice.  Outcomes can be easily recorded or measured by HCP and other members of the MDT.  The methodology can easily be applied to other areas of dietetics and the research has high potential to raise the profile of dietetics.”



Elizabeth Washington Award for a published/presented educational work

Awarded to: Chris Cheyette 

Carbs & Cals Gestational Diabetes book.

The book is now widely recommended by dietitians across the UK and is the only published book for gestational diabetes that is supported by Diabetes UK. It provides Dietitians and other health care professionals a useful resource to be able to demonstrate portion sizes, meal and snack ideas whilst also providing evidence based information on how to manage the condition.”


Charity raffle

We are also pleased to announce that our charity raffle £720.00 for the BDA Charity of the Year - Birmingham Mind. Thanks to all who bought tickets and to our partners who donated prizes: IBIT Solutions, Johnson Fellows and Membership Plus. 

With thanks

We thank the following people for their involvement in the Award and Honour presentations; 

Caroline Bovey, Joanne Fillingham, Kate Halliwell, Lord Balfe, Marc Seale, Ruth Crowder, Shumone Ray, Sue Acreman and Tony Rupa. 


More on the BDA Awards.

More on the BDA Honours.

More on the General Education Trust.

We hosted our annual Awards Dinner on the evening of 2 July in Birmingham. The event was overseen by our Chairman Caroline Bovey BEM


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