Social therapist at Hackney secure mental health unit goes the “extra mile”

Extra Mile award winner Otis Lewis

Extra Mile award winner Otis Lewis - Credit: Archant

A social therapist who works at the John Howard secure mental unit in Hackney has been honoured for going the “extra mile” for his patients.

On top of his duties at the John Howard Centre in Kenworthy Road, Otis Lewis runs music jamming sessions, football games and other regular social events.

He has also been the centre’s unofficial barber for many years, raising morale and personal pride by cutting and styling for service users often in his own time.

There were great roars of delight from colleagues in the audience at East London NHS Foundation Trust’s staff awards ceremony last Wednesday, when it was announced Mr Lewis had won the Extra Mile Award, which credits staff who go beyond their role to really make a difference to the people they look after.

Making the presentation, Dr Navina Evans, director of operations at the Trust, said Otis always sought to engage and encourage service users, noting he has a unique way of connecting with patients.

“Otis is undoubtedly one of our most precious employees,” she added.

There were over 200 nominations for 12 awards and over 750 staff attended the ceremony at The Troxy, in Limehouse.