West Suffolk Hospital thank you to volunteers

The 2013 Dr Damian Kershaw award  winner Hannah Sainsbury, 18,with her award.
The 2013 Dr Damian Kershaw award winner Hannah Sainsbury, 18,with her award.

Volunteers who give up their time to support patients, visitors and staff at West Suffolk Hospital will be thanked for their dedication at a special tea party and awards ceremony on Wednesday (June 11).

The special event has been arranged to celebrate the work carried out by the team, who together gave a record-breaking 40,380 hours of time during 2013.

During the afternoon, they will be served tea and cake by the trust’s executive directors, while 35 volunteers will be commended with long service awards after together clocking up 440 years of service.

Students who are planning a career in healthcare and have volunteered for six months will receive badges, while the Dr Damian Kershaw award will be presented to Ben McCartney, 18, from Bury St Edmunds, who has volunteered since 2012.

The award is named after a young doctor who volunteered at the hospital in the late 1980s and went on to have a successful career but sadly died suddenly aged 28.

Jackie, Dr Kershaw’s mother, who will present the award alongside Angela Pearce, from the Friends of the hospital, said: “Ben has displayed a high standard of commitment and enthusiasm and, along with the other students, should be applauded for his hospital volunteering.”

Linda Murrell, voluntary services manager at the hospital, said: “We always really enjoy holding this special event to thank our fantastic volunteers for their time and help. Each year they seem to give more and more, and I am so proud of them all.

“They fulfil a variety of valuable roles, including helping at mealtimes, spending time with patients who have dementia and providing a warm welcome on our reception desks, all of which enhance the experience people have while using the hospital.

“I hope the amazing support they show for their local hospital will inspire others to get in touch on 01284 713169 and find out more about joining our team.”