Northern cancer volunteers scoop national award

A selfless team of cancer care volunteers has won a national honour to recognise their contribution to the National Health Service.

Cancer Information Centre Volunteers from North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust were named as the winner in the Team of the Year (Corporate Functions) category at the Unsung Hero Awards.

The team received the accolade at a glitzy gala dinner at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester.

The awards honour non-clinical NHS staff and volunteers and winners were selected following an intensive judging process.

NHS leaders, experts and influential figures from the Health Service were among those on a panel which assessed hundreds of nominations from across the country.

The team was nominated by colleague Louise Harland, who said:

“The Cancer Information Centre opened in early 2016 and a team of four volunteers were recruited. The number has continued to grow and now stands at 14 with recruitment continuing.

“The volunteers have played a vital role in the development of the service and regularly switch outside commitments to meet the needs of the centre. They are an integral part of the service, ensuring the service functions on a daily basis.

“The volunteers are an integral part of the centre and without them the facilitation of the weekly craft and chat group, or attendance in a walk and talk group, couldn’t be possible. These activities ensure that people living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis have access to supportive and enjoyable activities outside of a hospital environment.”

Unsung Hero Awards founder Don Tomlinson said: “Our fifth annual event was our biggest and best yet and we were able to honour some brilliant, inspiring members of NHS staff and volunteers for the amazing work they have done.

“Everyone who won an award – and all those shortlisted – show each and every day the qualities and excellence which make our Health Service the best in the world.

“It has been an honour to be able to shine some light on the great contributions they have made.”

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