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A tireless champion of inclusivity and opportunity

Judith’s parents came to the UK in 1960, skilled workers who had to settle for manual work. Their experience of discrimination influenced Judith in wanting to bring about change and equality.

Overhearing “I wouldn’t work with those nutters” at a nursing fair, she resolved to eliminate stigma for marginalised people. She joined the NHS in 1986, qualifying as a nurse in 1990. Judith specialised in mental health, latterly with South West London and St George’s.

There, she led in calling for action to help BME staff break through the glass ceiling, working with the Trust’s Chair. She also set up a BME forum to hear stories from different cultures, develop shared understanding and build relationships.

She took commissioners and directors on a journey of listening to patients and over 100 faith groups and voluntary organisations to shape services that met local needs. 

At one of her roadshows, the idea of a free film and art festival to build awareness of mental health issues in the community was born. Judith brought this vision to life, working with grass-roots communities to grow Happy Soul to cover 17 venues and six boroughs over 13 days by 2011.

She was recognised for this as a finalist in the 2010 NHS Leadership Awards. She used the £10,000 grant prize from this to benefit others, setting up a BME mentoring scheme, then securing funding for a development programme for BME staff at band 5/6 to complement this.

She established and managed a team of BME community workers, now recognised and adopted nationally as best practice. She also facilitated a project with a local BME group for women who suffer domestic violence.

Her dedication, ability and passion have enabled her to progress to Associate Director level with us at NEL, she was instrumental in organising our first BME conference in 2017 and has helped set up a reverse mentoring pilot.

Judith now mentors staff in NEL and beyond, acting as an advocate and helping to resolve complex and sensitive issues. She has supported Mo progress to General Manager level in Croydon, Natasha from Band 6 to Band 8a in two years at NEL and Heather to progress to VSM at NHS England.

She has lived the values of the NHS throughout over 30 years of service, championing inclusivity and tirelessly working to benefit BME staff and people with mental health issues.


‘I feel privileged having Judith as a colleague and critical friend. She challenges me with tenacity and an uncensored desire for me to be the best version of myself. She is selfless, unique and amazing.’ - Heather Caudle, Director of Nursing – Improvement, NHS England

‘Judith is well respected in the team and leads by example, providing staff with mentoring and personal development opportunities. Staff working under Judith have been promoted on many occasions.’ – Maggie Jeffrey, AD Contracts, NEL


‘Her performance and knowledge…are second to none. She inspires people around her…she has developed me to fulfil my true potential.’ – Alem Kashem, AD Finance, NEL


edited on May 3, 2018 by (Account removed)
Gordon Harrison

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Heather Caudle Apr 30, 2018

Judith occupies a very unique space of being a black female senior nurse leader with a background in mental health nursing. This experience makes the conversations she is able to have with other leaders, of any characteristic, extremely beneficial in terms of problem solving and resilience-building. This quality of Judith's is therefore helping to build the quantum strength of inclusive and diverse leadership in the NHS.


Natasha D Apr 30, 2018

Judith is deserving of this award due to her ability to be inclusive to all and the way she empowers her staff and others in the organisation.

When I think about Judith’s leadership skills, I think about how she encourages staff to go beyond what they believe is their limit. Judith will not only encourage you but she will be your support system and help open doors to new opportunities.

Judith played a key role in setting up a fantastic BME conference for NEL CSU which enabled many staff to understand that they are valued and they do have a voice.


Shabbir uddin Apr 30, 2018

I feel lucky to have a superior that I can communicate with openness and with integrity, she has influenced and benefited many around her over the years. Judith is very credible and deserving of this award.


Mo Tomori Apr 30, 2018

I have no hesitation in recommending Judith Fairweather for her laudable and visible leadership and achievements. She is passionate about the progression of BAME and extremely proactive supporting and developing colleagues.

Another positive character of Judith is her openness, being non-discriminatory, and deliberately not being 'clouded' with bias, but giving every one an opportunity to honestly identify and value your hidden potential and weakness, which she commits her support on your improvement journey for the latter, while cheering you on for the former.


Subina Alibhai May 2, 2018

Judith is a role model to all her colleagues. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience as well as having great qualities of a leader. Judith will happily empower, support and develop others to reach their potential even when they have not realised what that is for themselves. She has an ability to see the best in others and is able to coach and mentor them to bring this out.

Judith has true integrity and is a great communicator with wonderful interpersonal skills.

She is a true inspiration.


Janine La Rosa May 3, 2018

in the short time that I have been working with Judith she has been an inspiration. Her drive and passion for her work and commitment to others is palpable. She is very deserving of the nomination and as many votes as possible!


Noel Brown May 3, 2018

Having joined the NHS in 2009, as a trainee PWP, with no connection to the NHS other than a mother who served in the service in the 60's, I was thrilled to be introduced to the Happy Soul festival. Within the first few months of my training, I was invited to volunteer in what was an innovative creative, visionary, inclusive yet diverse approach to the promotion of mental health and wellbeing amongst the BAME communities.
In my upbringing the idea of "by their fruit you shall know them" was a by word.
If Judith was to be measured by her "fruit" then it must be concluded she respesents a rich bounteous harvest of goodness. On that basis she gets my vote!


Natalee May 4, 2018

An Inspirational Strong Black Woman who drives transformation and encourages all to put their best foot forward with great leadership she has showed me how to face my fears of performance.

A key player in the organisation with an absolute great sense of humour who will continue to deliver on promise, improve outcomes and mentor individuals to be outstanding.


Maggie Jeffrey May 4, 2018

Every now and again you meet someone in your career who is a game changer. A leader who provides inspiration, support and leads by example with honesty and integrity. Judith has a gift for recruiiting talented staff and supporting them to reach their full potential. This is a deserving award for a very special unique lady.


Sandra Ovid May 6, 2018

I first met Judith through another heroine, Natasha Adams-Collman. Judith become a trusted friend and allied in the capacity of a sounding board for BAEM staff experiences. Over the years I have gotten to know the substantive yet unrecognised contribution she has made to the NHS and the invisible valuable work she has done to help staff progress,reflect and acknowledge their strengths and importantly their weakness.


Precious Badmus May 8, 2018

Judith’s drive and commitment towards the BAME cause makes her an exceptional nominee for this award. She is an excellent communicator with great poise. Everyone who has had the opportunity to be around her will agree with me that she projects warmth and positive energy, which ultimately radiates to everyone around her. She has my vote for this award!


Jennifer Valentine-Miller May 10, 2018

Yes, I agree that Judith is a tireless champion of inclusivity and opportunity.


I Sid May 10, 2018

Judith is someone I met when I was very junior in my work and she has been such an inspiration that I feel she is totally deserving of this award. Her inclusivity, skills and determination are of a quality that inspires me to this day. I had the pleasure of working with her on the Happy Soul Festival, attentive to detail, supportive and empowering others to hold it together were some of her qualities, her sense of humour helped us to manage at the most difficult of times. She has encouraged people far and wide, a role model that one can only hope to emulate.


PatriciaBY May 10, 2018


It is a priviledge to know Judith, and she has been an outstanding leader and mentor to so many, but to me she is someone who encourages and uplifts me. She is an inspiration to all who cross her path.


Alexander Alleyne May 10, 2018

Judith is one of the most inspirational and transformative leaders within the NHS. Her work both inside and outside of NEL CSU has been nothing short of inspirational to those who have been fortunate enough to benefit from her work. External to this, Judith has an endearing nature that inherently drives the best of out of people. I feel no-one is more deserving of this award in recognition of her ability to innovate and make change for the better.


Ryan Nembhard May 11, 2018

Judith is and has always been extremely inspirational and an amazing mentor to those around her. Her radiant aura and positive attitude towards her work and those around proves that she deserves this award more than anyone.


Dayo May 11, 2018

Wow what an amazing story and amazing woman, she defiantly is a strong role model and inspiration to us all!


Marc Mclean May 11, 2018

I am proud to say I know Judith Fairweather as both a mentor and a colleague. Judith is a powerful and passionate individual, who has helped me develop the skills needed to further my career. It is an honour to learn from her extensive experience in the healthcare field, she is a leader who wears her heart on her sleeve. Judith is a strong ambassador for fairness and equal opportunity for all staff within the organisation. I hope that my colleague goes all the way through the nomination stage to winning the award, as she deserves it.


Oliver Lake May 11, 2018

Judith is well deserving of this award and is a true leader for inclusion in our organisation. Best of luck with the award Judith!


Manraj May 11, 2018

Judith is an inspiration and role model to women and men of all backgrounds everywhere. A true trailblazer.


(Account removed) May 18, 2018

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