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The eight unsung heroes

They're not known for being out in the spotlight, but can be found quietly working on the sidelines to fight the battle against drug abuse. They are the six inspiring people, and two worthy organisations, who were this week honoured by addiction treatment charity Caron Bermuda.

Youth counsellor Lauren Trott received the Caron Assan Addiction Professional Award for her enthusiasm and dedication in working in the field of addiction, prevention and recovery.

The programme manager at Bermuda Youth Counselling Services, Ms Trott considered it a “privilege and blessing” to be handed the award after starting her career in addiction services in 1998.

Education officer Judith Bartley, from the Ministry of Education, received the Education Excellence Award.

Dr Bartley said she was honoured to be recognised for what she considers a lifelong passion of looking after the well-being of each child that comes under her charge.

She also said it was rewarding to see students make progress in their life, whether that be in small steps of giant leaps.

“These young people give me a reason to get up every morning,” she told those at a presentation at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess.

Rev Dr Ernest Peets Jr was awarded the Spirituality Award for his work blending biblical and psychological principles to the field of addiction.

Gita Blakeney Saltus, Caron's Regional Vice President, described him as being “a constant source of support and encouragement to those who are struggling with addiction and he carries his message of hope and faith in all that he does in his spiritual journey of life”.

Also awarded this week was George Pavy, who was recognised as the recipient of the Unsung Hero Award.

Mr Pavy has worked with CADA's 'Let Us Drive' programme, which provides free late night transport, since it's inception in 2007.

“Over the last six years George has assisted over 10,000 patrons to get home safely and he has facilitated this with no desire for recognition or celebration,” Mrs Blakeney Saltus said. “He clearly understands the impact of alcohol abuse, and the dangers implicit in drinking and driving. George has been a conduit for our young men and women to be responsible, and choosing not to drink and drive.”

Caron awarded the David Gosling Award to drug counsellor Gryneth Robinson, who was coined a “true trailblazer in the field of addiction treatment”.

Ms Robinson started working with those afflicted with drug addictions in 1980s, while working with the early Bermuda Progressive Labour Party.

There was no facility to treat people addicted to heroin at that time, other than the former St Brendan's Hospital, so she began offering a service from her home to help people quit drugs 'cold turkey'.

Over the years, she has helped scores of people live drug-free and has also served as a symbol of strength and hope for Bermuda's addicted population.

Back row: Judith Bartley, Bror Muller, Gryneth Robinson, Rev Ernest Peets Jr, Lauren Trott. Front row: Gita Blakeney Saltus, George Pavy, Rickeesha Binns and Kevin Grant

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Published November 21, 2013 at 11:00 am (Updated November 21, 2013 at 11:48 am)

The eight unsung heroes

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