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Posted on Sep 26 2022 by Fiona Bailey

A Senior Occupational Therapist based at the Northampton site of St Andrew's Healthcare has been named the winner of the 2022 Alyson Plummer Memorial Award.

Gemma Thornton was presented with the prestigious memorial prize on Friday at a small ceremony where her parents were also in attendance.

The award was named after Alyson Plummer, a brilliant Occupational Therapist who sadly passed away in 2005 at the age of just 28 from a rare kidney disorder called Gitelman Syndrome.

It is given annually to a nominated member of staff in the St Andrew's Neuro Division to recognise brilliance and hard work.

Described by her mum as “an academic with a zest for life,” Alyson studied for a career as an occupational therapist. After several placements, she decided her future was working with the rehabilitation of brain injury patients at St Andrew’s.

Following Alyson’s passing, her family put forward a Memorial Award to be given annually to a nominated staff member. The award is displayed in the corridor of Kemsley.

This year there were eight nominations for the Memorial Award; Angela Smith, Fraser Scatterty, Rachael O’Brien, Rejoice Ndou, Rocco Sereno, Helen Irving, Vincent Harding and Gemma.

Gemma was nominated because her colleagues said she "spreads her cheer everywhere she goes. She brings bundles of energy and positivity to the division. She is approachable, understanding, a true team player and caring. She really is a gifted OT. Gemma’s a role model for staff and patients, and she’s a major asset to St Andrew’s".