Olympian medalist presents Weston hospital awards
London 2012 Olympic hockey medallist Helen Richardson returned to her former home town to present awards to staff at Weston Area Health NHS Trust.
Bronze medallist Helen was the guest of honour at the 'celebration of staff success' event held at the town's hospital on Monday evening, September 17.
She was accompanied into the ceremony by Harptree Ward staff nurse Sarah Clark who was an Olympic Flame relay runner in May and who was carrying her torch.
Sarah had been chosen as a torch bearer because of her prowess at karate – for which she is the current, English, British and British Universities champion.
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WAHT chairman Chris Creswick began the evening by pointing out that Sarah was a perfect example of staff achievement.
Sarah joined to work in the housekeeping department and later transferred onto the wards as a healthcare assistant.
She then decided to train as a registered nurse and passed her final exams this summer.
Mr Creswick then welcomed Helen, whose team so memorably took the Olympic bronze medal in London in the thrilling play-off against New Zealand, winning 3-1 to secure GB women's hockey its first Olympic medal for 20 years.
Helen spent part of her childhood in Weston and still has family members living in the town.
Among the major awards of the evening were:
Pride Of The Year – Dietitians
This is for the individual or team who have best exemplified WAHT PRIDE values throughout the year – People, Reputation, Innovation, Dignity and Excellence. This was awarded to the dieticians for their outstanding service delivering nutritional advice to the hospital's patients.
Volunteer Of The Year – Pat Simmons
Pat has worked as a hospital volunteer for 16 years, mainly on the enquiries desk in the foyer. Her nomination said 'she genuinely cares about people and is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that patients, visitors and staff are supported'.
Exceptional Care – Dr Rebecca Wollerton
Dr Wollerton is in her second year of practice and joined the WAHT six weeks ago. Working on the wards, she met Mr Rod Mumford, who sadly had terminal stomach cancer. Dr Wollerton learnt he was a lifelong fan of Torquay United, who were playing in Weston that weekend. Knowing he had only a few days to live, she took it upon herself to contact Weston Football Club and put in place the arrangements needed for him to leave hospital for a few hours to see his last game – which Torquay won 3-0. After the game Mr Mumford met the players and was presented with a signed T-shirt. Sadly he died just a few days later, but, thanks to Dr Wollerton, he had seen his football heroes for one last time.
Members of Mr Mumford's family were in the audience at the award ceremony to see Dr Wollerton honoured for her exceptional care.
Awards were also presented to staff for long service, academic and training achievements and for contributions made outside work, such as participation in charity and fundraising events.
Voluntary organisations who work alongside the hospital were also honoured and thanked for their contribution, including Sunshine Radio and the Hospital League Of Friends.
Paul Hobbs, the volunteer organiser of the sponsored Family Walk Along the Prom on behalf of the British Heart Foundation, was also honoured.
This year he decided to split the proceeds of the walk – which had taken place just the day before – between the BHF and the hospital's cardiology department, for which the WAHT wished to show its sincere appreciation.
Helen kindly posed for photographs with all the winners and said afterwards: "I thoroughly enjoyed presenting awards to those who have gone above and beyond at Weston General Hospital – they are real heroes."