Local NHS volunteer driver wins national award for going the extra mile

A Teesside NHS volunteer has been recognised with a national award.

Volunteer driver Colin Ogden, 64, from Hartlepool received the prestigious Volunteer of the Year award at this year’s Unsung Hero Awards for non-clinical NHS staff and volunteers across the UK.

The retired waste management manager has volunteered at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust for eight years as a driver, helping patients get to and from their hospital appointments, collecting medication for them and even delivering Trust donations to local foodbanks.

In addition to his driving role, he has taken on an extra role in the chemotherapy unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool every Friday, keeping patients company, making cups of tea and putting a smile on the faces of patients and hospital staff alike.

But Colin’s kindness extends beyond the Teesside-based Trust – most recently when he drove to an 80-year-old patient’s home outside of his volunteering hours to mow her lawn.

Now his endless dedication to the Trust and its patients has been recognised in the national Unsung Hero Awards ceremony held on Friday 12 November in Manchester.

Colin said: “I’m still gobsmacked to have won. I was absolutely amazed – it was wonderful.

“It’s a privilege to do what I do. I absolutely love it. Just to have somebody nominate me for an award for that is incredible but to win is even better.”

Colin was nominated by the volunteer team at the Trust for continually going above and beyond expectations and for his endless dedication in developing the volunteer driver service.

He even suggested and helped to implement a new scheme named the ‘envelope scheme’ which helps generous patients make a donation to North Tees and Hartlepool Together – the Trust’s registered charity. To date the envelope scheme has contributed more than £8,500 to the charitable funds.

Paul Wharton, volunteer coordinator at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’re so proud of Colin for winning Volunteer of the Year at this year’s Unsung Hero Awards.

“Colin doesn’t just go the extra mile for patients, he goes the extra mile for the Trust and for his fellow volunteers.

“He’s been a fantastic support to staff within the volunteer services team and we cannot thank him enough. This award is very much deserved – well done Colin.”

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