The Unsung Hero Awards visited Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to officially open nominations for the 2019 awards.
We were welcomed in the same warm fashion as our first visit to Alder Hey in 2017 and there was a buzz as soon as we displayed promotional materials.
By mid-day we were ready to officially open our awards and were welcomed by Chris Browne, ambassador for Alder Hey, Coronation Street star Anthony Cotton along with his mum Enid Dunn.
Together the two past nominees and the star of the Street cut the ribbon and officially launched nominations for non-medical staff in the NHS. The day was a great success and continued a strong partnership with the Trust, which saw Alder Hey as one of the top-ranking hospitals for nominations in 2018.
Enid is no stranger to the Unsung Hero Awards. She won the ‘Volunteer of the Year Award’ for her truly unique way of helping others, based on her own experiences when recovering from breast surgery at the Royal Bolton Hospital.
On being discharged Enid had to carry a drain for her wound in an unsightly carrier bag. A former dressmaker, she designed herself a fashionable bag that provided an opportunity for early mobilisation and dignity post-surgery.
Enid continues to voluntarily make bags for other patients who need them and delivers her creations to the Royal Bolton Foundation Trust at the end of each month.
Enid was also a judge and special guest at the 2018 awards and will continue to be involved in 2019.
Sandy Wilkie, Staff Engagement Lead at Bolton said: “These bags are greatly appreciated by all the patients who are given them. Enid has made thousands of bags, maintaining a steady supply throughout the years complete with seasonal touches. Enid funds this service entirely out of her own pocket”.
Ambassador for Alder Hey Chris Brown was honoured to cut the ribbon during the opening ceremony of the Unsung Hero Awards.
He was treated at Alder Hey as a boy and knew that he wanted to be involved in medicine from a very young age. Chris now works for the Trust as a concierge two days a week but has volunteered at the Trust for around nine years and continues to give an additional two days of his time unpaid. He is known from ward to ward and can’t go too far without being stopped by a fellow patient or employee of Alder Hey and greeted warmly.
Chris said: "It was a real privilege, thank you so much”.
The team also made friends with Alder Hey’s therapy dog Holly, who along with her owner provides hope and joy to children throughout the hospital. Holly was a treat to behold and fingers (paws) crossed she will be nominated for an Unsung Hero Award herself!
The Unsung Hero Awards fifth annual awards ceremony with take place on Friday March 1, 2019 at The Hilton, Manchester. Nominations are now open online and are free to enter. More information on the awards can be found here.
The Unsung Hero Awards is continually engaging with Trusts around the United Kingdom with aspirations to go ‘on tour’ in the near future. Watch this space for more info...
Written by Laura Tomlinson, Relationship Manager at the Unsung Hero Awards.