Our hospital volunteers have been awarded for going ‘above and beyond’ to help people in the Teesside community.
Volunteers at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust have received two different awards at this year’s Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council Mayor’s Civic Awards – the group and individual awards for ‘Service to Community’. The awards recognise those who have ‘achieved something particularly noteworthy within the borough of Stockton-on-Tees or enhanced the reputation of the borough on a national scale’.
Clinical volunteer Ann McCabe, a 79-year-old Billingham resident, received her award at the awards ceremony on Wednesday 24 May. And the celebrations for the Trust’s volunteers continued throughout the day as the volunteer driver service won the group award in the same category.
The annual awards honour local people and organisations or businesses that have made a real difference to our community and officially recognise the achievements that have been made.
Ann McCabe won the coveted of the Service to Community Award for individuals. She was recognised for her unwavering dedication and commitment to supporting inpatients at the University Hospital of North Tees.
She said: “I’m completely overwhelmed with this award. Volunteering gives me a reason to get up in the morning. I love talking to patients and getting to know them. If I can make a patient happy, then my day is made.
“Every day volunteering is a good day.”
Ann’s commitment to supporting the Trust began over 20 years ago. Ann vowed to begin a fundraising crusade for ward 24 as thanks for the care her husband received. She raised over £13,000 for the ward through jumble sales. Ann was quoted then: “It won’t end. I’ve got the bug, I can’t stop”.
And she didn’t – in the past four years, Ann has dedicated every weekday morning to the patients at the hospital. She spends her time chatting to patients, supporting with activities and making runs to the kitchen to bring patients treats.
But Ann wasn’t the only hospital volunteer recognised. The Trust’s volunteer drivers were the proud winners of the Service to Community Award for groups and organisations.
Robbie Earl, Mike Rawson and Richard Siddell are just three of 25 volunteer drivers at the organisation. They represented the team at the awards ceremony on Wednesday.
74 year-old volunteer driver Alan Farley said: “I had my two sons at North Tees and both me and my family have been treated here. It’s nice to give back and be recognised for the work that we do.
“I’m privileged to meet so many interesting people in this role. You get to know them, to build up a rapport and make a difference to their lives.”
The volunteer driver service was introduced 10 years ago to help patients get to their appointments at our hospitals. Since then, the team has grown and taken on extra duties, including driving patients home after hospital stays – making more beds available for patients – and delivering essential medication and equipment to patients at home.
Volunteer coordinator Paul Wharton said: “We are thrilled that our volunteers are getting the recognition they so richly deserve. These awards demonstrate the value of the support they give to our communities on a daily basis, helping and supporting the most vulnerable and in need.
“They and their families should be very proud of their contribution. As a Trust, we can’t thank them enough – well done from all at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.”
To learn more about volunteering with our Trust, visit our volunteer page.