Dr Peter Agulnik (second from left) at the awards ceremony
After fifty years of working as a consultant psychiatrist with responsibility for rehabilitation, counselling, and psychotherapy within the NHS, Dr Agulnik is set to become a recipient of a High Sherriff’s Award for founding mental health support agencies Response (in the 1960s), the Ley Community (in 1971), Restore (in 1977), and the Elmore Support Team (in 1989).
The creation of these organisations followed Dr Agulnik’s groundbreaking recognition that a favourable social environment constitutes—and restores—mental health. That recognition forms the basis of Restore’s six recovery groups in Oxford, Banbury, and Didcot, where our members engage in cooking, gardening, woodwork, and crafts arts together.
Mark Adams, Restore’s Joint Chief Executive, said: “People from outside of Oxfordshire wonder why Oxford is so well served by mental health charities and agencies, and a big part of the reason is Peter Agulnik and his fifty years of innovation and support. In our 40th birthday year, we’re very proud of Peter and all that he has achieved for many thousands of people across Oxfordshire.”
Dr Peter Agulnik said: “It is a great honour to have been selected for a High Sherriffs Award. I have been privileged to have been involved in establishing innovative charitable projects which have stood the test of time. None of these services could have come about without the selfless dedication of staff working way beyond the call of duty, and volunteers, working either with users of the services or undertaking administrative tasks. They have been the powerhouse, enabling progress to be achieved. In accepting this award, I would like to signal my gratitude to them.”
Tamsin Jewell, Elmore’s Chief Executive, said: “We can’t praise Peter’s passion and determination for supporting those with complex needs enough, and also his vision and leadership in creating the robust voluntary sector that Oxford enjoys today, which ensures a holistic and community-based approach to mental health challenges.”
High Sherriff’s Awards recognise people in Oxfordshire who make outstanding contributions to the communities in which they live and work. Nominees will have had a high impact on the lives of others over a sustained period of time and will be recognised by other people working in their area as inspirational and as setting an example for others to follow.