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Lifetime Achievement award nominee

Valerie Dinsmore - Head of Policy, Research and Customer Relations, Lambeth Council

Valerie has had many roles in Lambeth, working with the voluntary and community sector, on equalities issues where she has trained and developed staff and citizens alike to understand diversity and equality and the equalities impact assessment process.

She champions coproduction and worked hard to ensure that Lambeth LINk became Healthwatch Lambeth, through an innovative process which demonstrated genuine coproduction. She ensures that in all her involvement work the voices of those less heard have equal status, and supports and empowers all to contribute.

In her work with the Citizens Board, Valerie has produced an exemplar of involvement which has allowed many, many people to work on the hard problems of integration to produce better care and better outcomes for all our populations.

We see her as a voice and champion of local people. Very few who talk about putting the opinions of local people at the heart of what they do actually do so. Valerie does. Very few actually champion to turn those opinions into reality - Valerie does.

For Valerie, it isn’t a strategy, it’s conviction. It is her modus operandi. We see her as going beyond the call of duty. She has made initiatives happen with very little resource. She works to ensure that chief executives and senior staff, councillors, and local people all contribute equally to shaping the future.

She has the ability to turn passion into disciplined, tangible, workable initiatives and tasks.

"She is quietly tenacious. She doesn’t accept no, but just plans another opportunity, and waits for the right time. Valerie’s very high-level communication skills, make such an impact. She frames the right questions. She shapes and designs the right frameworks. She put the right people together. She encourages. She nudges. She feeds back. She transforms. She always works with others."