A WHITLEY Bay health visitor has won a top regional award after being nominated by families for their support.
Judith Pringle, of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, won the Family Award at the 2012 NHS North East Health Visiting Awards for the support she gives mothers in the town during their pregnancies and after they have given birth.
Judges received more than 20 emails in support of Judith, with families paying tribute to her caring and compassionate nature, detailing how she had helped some quit smoking, to breast feed and access local groups.
Judith, who is based at Park Parade Surgery in Whitely Bay and has been working in the community for 17 years said: “I’m just so touched that local families took the time to nominate me in the first place and to actually win the regional award was a complete surprise and a massive honour.
“It is a pleasure doing my job and I love being able to support people in the community at such an important time in their lives. To receive such great feedback and the award is absolutely fantastic and a real bonus.
“It is a team effort and I wouldn’t be able to do it without the help and support of colleagues.”
Judith had won the local heat of the awards earlier in the year.
Among those who nominated her were mothers in the town’s Bangladeshi community.
Shibli Islam, of Whitley Bay, said: “I had my baby after 17 years of trying and I am blessed with my daughter.
“I knew nothing about babies but Judith was my life saver. She advises me of what to do for my baby’s well being, she is just great and deserves the best.
“I am a Bangladeshi lady who has limited English and I was quite apprehensive about how I would communicate with her but she is just so experienced working with people from different backgrounds there was no problem.”
Meanwhile Katherine Morris, of Whitley Bay, credited Judith’s support with helping her husband Jonah quit smoking before their child Oliver was born.
She said: “Judith gave my husband advice on different methods of quitting smoking and referred him to our local stop smoking service.
“She gave my husband the push he needed to stop smoking and has encouraged him to do so successfully.
“Having talked to other local mums I know that she provides an invaluable service for many people and deserves thanks and recognition for the fantastic work she does.”