A mental health champion, described as an ‘inspiration’ to her colleagues at TransPennine Express (TPE) has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Victoria Snell, who lives in Salford, Greater Manchester, has been awarded a prestigious British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to Mental Health and Wellbeing.
Victoria, 30, who was born in Plymouth and relocated for work several years ago, is a champion for mental health awareness not only at TPE but across the rail industry, disability forums and her social media networks.
Four and a half years ago, following five different surgeries, Victoria chose to have her leg amputated, which had a significant impact on her own mental health. She has spoken openly about her disability and her experience living with continued Phantom Pain from her amputated leg, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and anxiety.
“Receiving a British Empire Medal from the Queen during the year of her Platinum Jubilee is just so special.
“I’m passionate about normalising mental health and encouraging others to do the same.
“My own mental health challenges are as much as part of me as the fact that I use a prosthetic leg and I want to continue to do all I can to raise awareness in this area.”
Victoria is passionate about breaking down boundaries when it comes to amputation and mental health awareness and has taken part in numerous panels, talks, presentations and interviews to share her own advice and experience with others.
In recent years, she was also leading force in setting up the ‘Take 10’ initiative at the train company, which encouraged staff at all levels to take 10 minutes to have a chat and a cup of tea with another person.
Matthew Golton, Managing Director at TransPennine Express said:
“I am so pleased to see our inspirational TPE colleague Victoria recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
“Mental health is incredibly important, and Victoria has worked tirelessly to raise awareness in this area, all while living with her own mental health challenges and continuing rehabilitation following her surgery.
“Her honesty and openness in this area has helped others and she is an inspiration for many.”
This is the second time a member of the train company has been recognised for services to mental health, with Victoria’s fellow colleague, Rich Holliday, also receiving a BEM at the start of this year.