MAKE A DIFFERENCE | workplace culture / mental health / wellbeing

Make a Difference Awards

Nominations are now open for the inaugural Make A Difference Awards in association with Royal Mail Group and Optima Health.

March 2020-21 has been a year like no other – filled with challenges, change and uncertainty. Yet it has also been a year when kindness, generosity and collaboration have shone through. This is what we want to celebrate.

The Make A Difference Awards are an opportunity for us to stop, think and thank the individuals and employers who have really made a difference to workplace mental health and wellbeing over the past year; those who are leading the way, and inspiring others to follow their example.

We welcome your nominations. Once these have been received, they will be reviewed by our panel of judges. The shortlist will then be opened to the Make A Difference community’s vote with the winners announced on Make A Difference Day on 15 June 2021.

Click here to nominate the employer and/or individual who you believe has made the biggest difference to workplace mental health and wellbeing over the past year.

It’s quick, easy and free to make a nomination.

Nominations are open until 15 April.


Meet the Make A Difference Awards Judges

Click to view biographies.

Dr Shaun Davis, Global Director of Compliance & Sustainability (Safety, Health, Wellbeing, Security and Compliance)

MA, MBA, MA, MSc, MA, Chartered FIOSH, FIIRSM, Chartered FCIPD, MIoD

A Chartered Fellow of The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, a Fellow of The International Institute of Risk and Safety Management, a Chartered Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a Member of The Institute of Directors Shaun has a wide portfolio of responsibilities across the Royal Mail Group; his responsibilities include safety, health, wellbeing and sustainability.

Joining Royal Mail Group in September 2012 Shaun has led a number of improvement programmes across a range of areas – contributing to improvements in accident prevention and a reduction in road traffic collisions. Shaun has led an organisation wide attendance improvement programme as part of a broader wellbeing and health promotion agenda, with particular attention being paid to mental health, musculoskeletal issues and issues affecting an ageing workforce.

Prior to joining Royal Mail Group, Shaun worked in the construction, refurbishment, infrastructure and waste management sectors and led organisations to achieve significant improvements in performance – most notably achieving ISO:9001, ISO:14001 and OHSAS:18001 alongside British Safety Council ‘Five Star Occupational Health and Safety Audit’ across two FTSE listed organisations. Shaun has also led culture change programmes and achieved a variety of awards and accolades for the organisations he has worked in.

Shaun holds five Masters Degrees; an MA in Leadership & Culture Change, an MBA, an MA in Marketing & Innovation, an MSc in Workplace Health & Wellbeing and an MA in Strategic Human Resource Management. He also holds a Doctorate in Coaching and Mentoring his research having explored the relationship between coaching, well-being and organisational culture. Shaun is currently studying towards a Master of Laws (LLM).

Shaun is a trained and experienced Board member, Chair, Trustee, and school governor.  He is currently a Trustee of three charities; The Men’s Health Forum, The Rowland Hill Fund(Deputy Chair) and The Society of Occupational Medicine. He is also a member of the Business in the Community (BITC) Workwell Leadership Team and a Member of the National Forum on Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace.  Shaun also acts as Vice Chair and Director of Strategy for the pan-European mental health campaign ‘Target Depression in the Workplace’.  Shaun was appointed as Honorary Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham, School of Medicine in February 2018.

Voted as one of the 15 most influential in health and safety and a winner of The Institute of Directors ‘Director of the Year – 2018 ‘ award Shaun regularly contributes to contemporary debates and campaigns.

In 2019 Shaun was awarded The REBA (Reward & Employee Benefits Association) Vanguard Award for outstanding contribution to health and wellbeing.

Simon Arnold, CEO, Optima Health

Simon is an experienced leader in the healthcare arena, having operated across the UK and globally to design and support public and private healthcare delivery. Passionate about improving wellbeing in the UK workplace.

Simon has extensive board level experience in the strategic design and delivery of high-quality, technology enabled care and clinical support services, and has also served as a Commissioner on the Government’s Commission on Residential Care, which outlined the vision of health and care for the twenty-first century for older people. Simon is currently CEO of Optima Health, the leading occupational health and wellbeing provider in the UK, supporting organisations to drive a healthy high performing workforce.

Dr Kamel Hothi OBE, Non-Executive Director TLC Lions

Dr Kamel Hothi OBE has been breaking glass ceilings in the banking world for over 4 decades from cashier to Director as a Strategist and Architect of numerous initiatives that have changed the banking industry.

Following the banking crises increased trust and pride by developing business measurement impact for civil society partnerships including volunteering and causes such as Dementia and Mental Health.

However, these she has achieved despite the struggles, discrimination, and gender imbalance during her career alongside the challenges of running a traditional Indian household. She is now ranked in the top 100 most influential black, Asian, and minority ethnic leaders in the UK and was awarded an OBE for services to promoting diversity in banking.

Post-retirement in 2017 Kamel now supports several boards as an Advisor, Trustee including Lloyds of London Cultural Advisory Group for the Insurance Industry, The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust across 53 countries on social change for youth, Ambassador for Alzheimer’s Society and a NED TLC Lions supporting corporates on inclusion, leadership culture and wellbeing and chairing their Westminster Palace round table with UN Chair for Women in the UK

Louise Aston, Wellbeing Director, Business in the Community

Louise is an award-winning workplace health and wellbeing campaigner recognised by the Institute of Directors, the Society of Occupational Medicine and Reward and Employee Benefits Association.

At Business in the Community, Louise has campaigned to establish employee mental health as a strategic boardroom issue, on a parity with physical health.

Our wellbeing campaign supports and challenges employers across the UK to adopt ways of working that promote long-term positive mental health outcomes while also tackling the challenging issues of domestic abuse, suicide and bereavement.

Stacy Thomson, Founder, The Performance Club

Stacy Thomson has over 20 years of frontline experience working in roles within the NHS, and has owned her own performance consultancy for the past six. There is nothing she has not seen or worked with, and her continued learning and development demonstrates her passion and drive to understand the human condition, in order to educate, contribute and support both organisations and individuals.

She is a trusted coach and trainer, and enjoys partnering with inspiring individuals and companies to create bespoke solutions which work for them. She has designed and delivered a mental health training programme amongst her clients, and is seen as the in-house expert in mental health in a magic circle law firm.

Stacy also provides 1:1 mental health and performance coaching to high performing executives, entertainers and sports professionals.

Stacy currently sits on the advisory board of MAD World Summit, and has been a selection panel member and leadership mentor for the Inside Out Leader board. She is regularly asked to contribute to articles in industry publications and she enjoys writing articles for her blog and LinkedIn followers.

Claire Farrow, Partner & Global Head of Content, Make A Difference Media and the MAD World Summit

Claire is on a mission to help every employer – large, medium and small – get the insight, inspiration and contacts they need to make real impact on workplace culture, mental health and wellbeing in their organisation.

As a forerunner of the gig economy, Claire has been freelance for more than 15 years. During that time, she has had the honour of working with many leading publishers, including the New York Times.


The Make A Difference Awards are an opportunity for us to stop, think and thank the individuals and employers who have really made a difference to workplace mental health and wellbeing over the past year; those who are leading the way, and inspiring others to follow their example.

Nominations are open until 15 April. When drawing up the shortlist of nominees, the judges will assess the nominations of individuals and employers according to the following criteria:

  1. 1) How far-reaching and inclusive impact has been
  2. 2) How holistically wellbeing has been supported as a result of the person or employer's initiatives
  3. 3) How innovative initiatives have been
  4. 4) The extent to which initiatives can be scaled up
  5. 5) How sustainable the change created is (ie. embedded into culture)
  6. 6) The extent of the benefits delivered and the business case for wider benefits realisation

1. What is the name of the person you would like to nominate for the Make A Difference 2020/21 Award?

2. In no more than 100 words, please explain how this person has had the most positive impact on workplace mental health and wellbeing in 2020/21.

3. What is the name of the organisation you would like to nominate for the Make A Difference 2020/21 Award?

4. In no more than 100 words, please explain how you believe this organisation has had the most positive impact on workplace mental health and wellbeing in 2020/21

5. Please enter your contact details

For information on our privacy practices you can view our privacy policy here.