Volunteer honoured for her inspirational work
A dedicated volunteer who has helped patients, staff and visitors at a Bradford hospital for three decades has been honoured with a special award.
Doreen Varley, 89, from Horton Bank Top, started volunteering at St Luke’s Hospital following her retirement from Grattan’s in December 1981as a parcel checker.
She was presented with a 30 years’ service award by Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Chairman, David Richardson, for her three decades of tireless work.
”I never thought for a minute that when I started volunteering I would still be here 30 years later but I am delighted to receive this recognition today,” said Doreen.
”I don’t want people to thank me, I want to thank St Luke’s and all the volunteers and patients for the pleasure and friendships I have found here.
“I’ve had so many happy days at St Luke’s and it’s helped me get rid of much sadness. Every time I come here I get a lift and feel better when I’ve been.”
Doreen, who turns 90 on December 9, was the first member of the Friends of St Luke’s when they were formed by Eileen Beaumont in June 1981. She started off volunteering by running a tea trolley service in the outpatients department before moving on to support staff on ward A1. For the past 27 years, she has served hot drinks on the hospital’s tea bars.
Every Friday morning she can still be found behind the counter of the Welcome Cuppa Café in the hospital’s extension block.
Doreen added: “I used to work here all hours after my husband, Harold, died in 1987, but I’ve stayed this long because I am really happy here.
“When you retire you need something to fill the void and the atmosphere at St Luke’s is really good. When I lost Harold, the friendships at the café got me through a lot of bad patches.
“I’m lucky that my son drives me here every Friday so that I can take my turn in the café. It is tiring now that I am near 90 but I love every minute of it.”
Chairman David Richardson paid tribute to Doreen’s dedication in what is also the Friends of St Luke’s 30th anniversary year.
He added: “For me, hospitals like St Luke’s would be much poorer places if we didn’t have the likes of Doreen working here.
“Her unstinting service to the hospital community and its patients and visitors has been unbelievable. She is a shining example of everything that is good about Bradford and she is a fine role model for many of our younger volunteers who are starting out today.
“It’s brilliant that so many people are here today to celebrate with her and we wish her good health and good volunteering for many more years to come.”
The Foundation Trust’s Voluntary Services Nurse Manager, Christine Heaton, used the event to appeal for more volunteers to come forward.
She said: “We are always looking for new volunteers to help, in particular in the tea-bars at St Luke’s and at BRI. In addition we also need volunteer guides, ward trolley volunteers and patient support volunteers.
“So if you are inspired by Doreen’s great work, please get in touch and we can provide you with more information about the various volunteering roles that there are throughout the Foundation Trust.”
For more information contact the Voluntary Services Department on 01274 364309 or e-mail email@example.com