2020 Vocational Rehabilitation Award Winners and reflections on the event

Congratulations to our winners

  • Innovation, Research and Education Winner: Thriving at Work by Affinity Health at Work
  • VR Team Winner: Vitality 360 Ltd
  • VR Practitioner: Tracey Bragg, Ergocom and Form Health

The recording of the awards event (which got incredible feedback from our attendees!) is now available to members and includes presentations from all our finalists about their work.  We hope to share more about them over the coming months too.

Reflecting on the awards

We are always excited to hold the VRA awards.

Our members work hard all year round and this has been a wonderful way to showcase and celebrate the great VR practice out there across the UK and provide much-deserved feedback to those who strive to help others in their efforts to participate in work despite health challenges. This year, however, we were somewhat anxious that the COVID pandemic might impact on nominations, especially as the face to face event would not be feasible. In the end, we needn’t have worried at all! There was the usual last-minute flurry of submissions, but we were thrilled to receive our highest number of entries yet.

The standard of entries was generally high, with innovative practice presented and a wide range of practice areas covered. The judging process was intense. We used a criterion-based scoring system individually and then the three judges got together to discuss and debate, in order to ensure that we had applied the criteria appropriately and consistently. It was a close call in all categories, due to the number of high-quality nominations, but we were all in agreement on the finalists and the eventual winners, which remained a closely guarded secret until the awards event and the opening of the golden envelopes!

It has been a shame for us all that we have not managed to hold face to face conferences and networking events this year. VR practitioners enjoy getting together to share ideas and this new virtual world doesn’t somehow have the same feel about it. However, on reflection, we think the online awards event went really well, in many ways better than slotting it into a conference and the really positive feedback we had immediately after the event supports this. We had an inspiring presentation from Professor Kim Burton, a valued VRA Friend, and we were all able to focus more specifically on the finalists, sharing best practice and hearing about their nominations through their films and the Q&A sessions.

Thanks again to Kim for presenting the awards so graciously, and to everyone in the VRA Awards and Events Teams for all their hard work in making this a real success. We look forward to next year’s awards – so do please start thinking about nominations now!

Chris Parker