Volunteers who help patients, staff and visitors at West Suffolk Hospital were given a big thank you at the annual long service awards and presentation of the Damian Kershaw Award,
Some 31 volunteers have notched up a total of 275 years, helping at the hospital and were served tea and cakes by the hospital’s executive team to mark their contribution.
Young people who are planning a career in healthcare and have taken part in the hospital’s student volunteer programme for six months also received their student volunteer service badges.
Kelly Davis, 17, received the Damian Kershaw Award presented by Dr Kershaw’s mother Jackie. Kelly is doing A levels and wants to become a doctor.
Damian was a volunteer and went on to a successful career in medicine but sadly died aged 28.
Mrs Kershaw said: “Choosing the winner for this year’s award was extremely difficult as the candidates were, as usual, very inspiring. Kelly, together with the other applicants, recognises what a two way process volunteering is.
“In exchange for her time and caring, she learned much and gained maturity from the challenges presented to her, which is excellent training for a career in medicine.”
Pat Game was among those recognised for long service volunteering, She has helped at the hospital front desk since it opened 20 years ago. She said: “I’ve made lots of friends and find it really rewarding and would encourage other people to think about volunteering too.”
Linda Murrell, voluntary services manager, said: I am so proud to head this team of wonderful people who play a key role in enhancing the experience our patients have.”