More than 100 volunteers who work alongside Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust staff were recognised for their fantastic contribution at an awards ceremony held in their honour.
Over the last year, volunteers have helped out in all manner of ways, working with staff and patients across the hospital and community services – and despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, they have all contributed towards the delivery of high-quality care and positive patient experiences.
Professor David Loughton CBE, Chief Executive of the Trust, thanked the group for their commitment and dedication at Thursday evening’s event..
He said: “I’ve only been in Walsall for 18 months but I’m extremely proud of the volunteering service here at the Trust. I hear all the time from staff that they value the interaction they have with our volunteers.
“I hope you get great satisfaction from what you do as it’s really important.”
Lisa Carroll, Director of Nursing, added: “Thank you just doesn’t seem enough. I’m in awe of your commitment and enthusiasm. You’re an integral part of the team; you are truly inspirational.
“To hear some of your stories has been phenomenal. On behalf of the Trust and the Board, thank you. Please keep on doing what you do as you make a difference day in, day out.”
Award winners were announced as follows:
Bronze award for one year of service
- Carole Mellar
- Christine Ford
- Denise Bridgwood
- Diana Milne
- Howard Crabtree
- Ian Norton
- Jay Mistry
- Jean Downes
- Jeanette Harvey
- Joyce Holder
- Karen Stanney
- Ken Binsley
- Laurence Melvin
- Lisa Jones
- Marion Cocksedge
- Paul Harriman
- Pauline Evans
- Steph Hickmans
Silver award for five years of service
- David Jones
- Doreen Wilson
- Janet Mennell
- John Winsper
- Kelvin Campbell
- Ken Benton
- Maureen Chance
- Pat Jenkins
- Pauline Binsley
- Peter Gilbert
- Roy Whittle
Gold award for 10 years of service
- Adrian Davies-Ratcliffe
- Barbara Brown
- Carole Mellar
- Denise Moorhouse
- Diana Mason
- Geoffrey Barlow
- Imtiaz Dean
- Irene Chilton
- Jean Kadodwala
- Les Bryant
- Lynn Harris
- Margaret Hand
- Margaret Stevenson
- Pamela Stackhouse
- Terry Brown
Special recognition for 15 years of service or more
- Dana Chantler, chaplaincy volunteer
- Sally Cooper, breast cancer support volunteer
Bronze, Silver and Gold Contribution award
These awards recognise the amount of hours spent volunteering at the Trust.
- Bronze: Jay Mistry
- Silver: Ian Norton
- Gold: Carole Mellar
All three were PPE (personal protective equipment) responder volunteers during the pandemic which saw the trio delivering masks, hand gel and more at a time when there was no vaccine and the infection risks were high. They have contributed more than 1500 hours between them.
Volunteer of the year – Community
Colette has been recognised for her work in the Self-Care Management Team. She’s volunteered for 10 years now and has delivered 54 courses. She gives an incredible amount of support to her peers while also volunteering as an assessor (for self-care management course delivery).
Volunteer of the year – Young Person
Matthew is a EWE (Enhancing Ward Experience) volunteer (part of a programme which enables young people to access opportunities in a healthcare setting). He was one of the first EWEs and continues to support the Trust by helping out on Walsall Manor Hospital’s Welcome Hub and on the wards.
Volunteer of the year – Hospital
Twins Maureen Chance and Margaret Hand
This duo goes above and beyond to support patients and are known for making time for a singsong/fox trot in Walsall Manor Hospital’s main atrium.
Margaret: “We love the job and we like working together. To see people come into hospital feeling down and nervous and being able to make them smile is really rewarding.”
“It’s been a wonderful night and we feel so happy to win this award,” added Maureen.
The night concluded with messages of thanks from staff, all pre-recorded and shown on a big screen to the volunteers.
Garry Perry, Associate Director – Patient Relations and Experience, said: “Please believe anything you do for our organisation, however big or small, the kindness you offer our staff and patients makes a difference and tonight is about valuing the difference you make.”
The Mayor of Walsall Councillor Rose Martin added: ““It has been a pleasure to witness the recognition of all the volunteers who work for the Trust, from hospital to community. I would like to state my appreciation for all you do in your respective volunteering roles.
“Walsall is better for having people like you in our borough. May we continue to be blessed with your presence.”
Walsall Healthcare’s Patient Experience Team organised the event with the funding support of the Trust’s Well Wishers charity.