Peterborough emergency call dispatcher wins Young Achiever of the Year at national awards ceremony
An emergency call dispatcher from Peterborough has been awarded Young Achiever of the Year at a national award ceremony for control room workers.
Ben Hawkins (23) picked up the prize at the APD Control Room Awards 2021, ahead of over 400 contenders, for the way he has used his own mental health struggles to help others and push for better mental health support for emergency service workers.
The awards are run each year by APD Communication to recognise the selfless and unstinting efforts to control room individuals and teams who go above and beyond the call of duty to protect the public when they are most in need.
They were held online this year due to the pandemic, with special mention given to the remarkable stories of professionalism, dedication and achievement for what has been such a challenging year.
In December, Ben, who works as an Emergency Dispatcher for the East of England Ambulance Service, teamed up with mental health charity Mind and The Ambulance Staff Charity (TASC) to create an awareness campaign about how the stresses of the job can affect workers in the emergency services.
Ben spoke openly about how the pressures of the job on top of the suicide of a close friend almost drove him to take his own life. He has encouraged others who are struggling to speak out as well.
Speaking about Ben’s achievements, the judges said: “Ben is a passionate champion of mental health issues, among colleagues, the ambulance service and the wider community, including through media interviews and articles.
“He is involved in a vast range of positive initiatives demonstrating maturity far beyond his years. Ben has achieved so much for one so young.”
To find out more about Ben’s campaign, click here.