National award for mental health advocate Rhona

A well-known Morpeth resident has received national recognition for her efforts to help others.

By Andrew Coulson
Friday, 15th July 2022, 9:28 am

In a competition run by Greatest Hits Radio and Home Instead, the public was asked to nominate older people who have done something extraordinary.

Rhona Dunn was delighted to be one of the 15 winners from across the country and she was awarded a plaque by Morpeth Mayor Alison Byard and Carole Kirk, owner of local home care company Home Instead South East Northumberland.

The 82-year-old was among the British Empire Medal (BEM) recipients in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2020 for her work as part of various organisations in the town over the years and as chairman of Contact Morpeth Mental Health Group.

Form left, Morpeth Mayor Alison Byard, Rhona Dunn and Carole Kirk.

As well as her current chairman role, her mental health efforts include supporting people at tribunals, helping those who have been sectioned get discharged when the time is right.

On two occasions she has done a sponsored sleepout overnight at Morpeth Market Place to highlight the homelessness crisis.

Rhona said: “It’s an honour to receive this award. I’m so proud to be part of this community and that’s why I’m determined to continue helping others, particularly with their mental health.

“I want to thank those who put me forward – it’s truly heart-warming to know that the work I do is making a difference.”

The plaque she received mirrors the English Heritage plaques that commemorate outstanding well-known people.

Carole said: “We’ve known Rhona for some time and our admiration for her only grows. Her work supporting people affected by mental health has made life worth living for so many and that’s why she is deserving of this award.”