Trust honours selfless volunteers at annual awards event

Bradford Hospitals’ selfless and kind-hearted volunteers have been honoured for their unstinting devotion and service.

More than 70 volunteers from Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were celebrated at a special ceremony held at Bradford City Football Club.

The Trust has a dedicated army of almost 500 volunteers, each of them donating on average four hours per week, which adds up to an amazing 104,000 hours of time over the past year.

The ceremony was an opportunity to present 37 of them, who had devoted between five and 25 years to volunteering, adding up to an incredible 335 years in total, with certificates and commemorative plaques.

A group of 20 student volunteers, aged 17 to 24, who have given up 50 hours of their time to help out at the Trust’s hospitals, were also rewarded with special certificates – and the evening also saw the Volunteer of the Year crowned.

The Trust’s chief executive, Professor Clive Kay said: “There are many reasons why the dedication and compassion of our volunteers make such a difference to our hospitals – in fact there are more than 104,000 of them!

Improve the experience

“Amazingly that’s the total number of hours of their own free time our team of volunteers has given up over the past 12 months to improve the experience of our patients.”

The Trust’s deputy chairman, Trevor Higgins presented the certificates and awards, and the judges were knowledge library and information services manager, Abbas Bismillah; senior infection prevention and control clinical nurse specialist, Robina Fayyaz, and directorate manager, Louise Lacey.

This year, 17 volunteers were nominated for the top prize and after a very tough job, Phlebotomy Volunteer and Play Assistant Liz Austin was crowned Volunteer of the Year 2017.

Liz, 68, of Odsal, Bradford, is a former staff nurse at BRI who decided to volunteer four years ago after retiring. She now helps out two days a week, splitting her time as a phlebotomy guide at St Luke’s Hospital and a play assistant on the children’s ward (ward 30) at BRI.

She was nominated by phlebotomy co-ordinator, Rachel Appleby, senior sister OPD, Samantha Bull and hospital play specialist, Alison Kay.

Rachel said: “Liz does everything possible to make the patient’s visit to the phlebotomy department the best it can be.”

Alison added: “She enjoys playing games with the children and our regular patients remember the fun they have had with Liz.”

Liz said: “I was absolutely shocked when my name was called out. I heard it and said ‘oh that’s me!’ After I retired, I was determined to keep in touch with the Trust and that’s why I decided to volunteer.

Good company

“I love both the roles I have. It’s lovely to be able to chat to patients and feel you are helping, especially the children who like having the company especially if their parents can’t be with them all the time. We enjoy colouring and painting and often they just want someone to talk to.”

Runner-up this year was Bradford Radio Royal volunteer and chaplaincy volunteer, Christopher Fisher, and in joint third place were play assistants Mary Darrington and Katarzyna Piotrowska. Mary is a volunteer at BRI and Katarzyna a volunteer at St Luke’s Hospital.

Also nominated were: Tahira Azam, Barbara Cawood, Patricia Crompton, Lynne Dennison, Mary Gilmartin, Mashud Haque, Peter Kelly, Hilary Meeghan, Jean Nutter, Hasu Patel, Alan Pinfield, Joan Sinfield and Jennifer Smith.

Prof Kay paid a special tribute to Jean Nutter, a dedicated volunteer who died recently after devoting a quarter of a century to the Trust.

He said: “Jean was a very familiar face within the Trust, as a volunteer guide and then a tea bar volunteer in our Women’s and Newborn Unit. We will all miss her and we send our sincere condolences to her family, friends and colleagues.”

A certificate marking Jean’s 25 years’ service was accepted by her colleague Jennifer Smith, on behalf of Jean’s family.

Long service awards were also presented to two volunteers who had undertaken an outstanding 20 years’ service. They were:

Friends of BRI Volunteers: Stanley Sinfield, tea bar and information centre, and Geoff Hodge, guide.

Those receiving certificates for 15 years’ service were:

Friends of BRI Volunteers: John Clarke, guide and Pauline Simpson, tea bar, and chaplaincy volunteer Marion Thompson

Friends of St Luke’s Hospital volunteers: Marlene Harrington, guide; Christine Stocks, tea bar, and Sylvia Bayles, tea bar.

Those receiving certificates for 10 years’ service were:

Friends of BRI Volunteers: Sadhu Singh Chhokar, guide; Gillian Benson, guide and Patricia Clinton, tea bar

BRI Volunteer: David Walker, research

Chaplaincy Volunteer: Barrey Allen

Friends of St Luke’s Volunteers: Freda Warrington, tea bar; Lynne Winter, tea bar and Chris Benson, St Luke’s Sound

Those receiving certificates for 5 years’ service were:

Friends of BRI Volunteers: Delara Begum, maternity; Patricia Bottomley-Mason, tea bar; Norah Hurley, tea bar; Val Lawrence, tea bar; Susan Wilkins, tea bar and information centre; Glenys Jagger, physiotherapy support; Shazad Khalil, guide and ward trolley; Jean Pitts, tea bar and Ian Ross, guide

BRI Volunteers: Nathan Anstice, Radio Royal and Joan Megson, ward trolley

Friends of St Luke’s Volunteers: Margaret Kimber, tea bar and Barry Woodhead, guide

St Luke’s Volunteers: Kathleen Adamson, St Luke’s Sound; Kevin Egan, St Luke’s Sound; Patrick Murphy, St Luke’s Sound; Anne McCarthy, toy library; Shakila Naz, patient support and Ena Waterhouse, toy library

Chaplaincy Volunteer: Barbara Stephenson

Student volunteers, who have each undertaken 50 hours’ service were also thanked and presented with commemorative certificates. They were:

Sana Israr, Hifsa Khan, Muzna Khan, Sadiya Khan, Maymoonah Rafique, Saif-Ul Rehman, Arzoo Shirazi, Maria Amin, Nazmin Chowdhury, Farwah Kazmi, Bethany Kenny, Aisha Khan, Sadiya Khan, Safah Khan, Sarish Khan, Noor ul Absaar Raja, Rahila Saleem, Rebecca Sandham, Mohammed Adil Shazad and Gemma Tordoff

Anyone interested in volunteering, can ring 01274 364309/382860 or visit the Trust’s website