Staff receive national recognition in Helpforce Champions Awards 2019


Staff receive national recognition in Helpforce Champions Awards 2019Congratulations Trauma and Orthopaedic Ward Manager Sister Nichola Cairns and Niall Millar, Meet and Great Volunteer at Omagh Hospital who were highly commended at this year's Helpfore Champion's Awards.

Nichola and Niall were the only two people shortlisted from HSC Trusts in Northern Ireland and travelled to the ceremony which took place in central London on Friday 25 October.

Speaking about her nomination Sr Cairns said: “It is a privilege and honour for me to meet our volunteers who give up their time to help in the ward.  I am truly humbled by the nomination which reflects the work that the entire Trauma and Orthopaedic Ward do for dementia patients. I am delighted to have been highly commended in the Helpforce Champions Awards 2019 and I met so many inspirational people at the celebration event.  When you see the activities going on in the NHS nationwide it reinforces that the work done by our many volunteers is exceptional.   Our Western Trust volunteers are just priceless.”

Mark Lever, Chief Executive of Helpforce, said: “It is fantastic to see so many brilliant examples of innovation, great practice, commitment, and real passion for patient care and support for staff across the NHS in the UK. It is a privilege to hold these awards and celebrate volunteers across the UK.”

Anne Love, MBE Volunteer Services Manager for the Western Trust who nominated Sister Cairns said: “The volunteer role is important in supporting our staff and enriching the patient/client experience. Effective volunteer involvement is very much dependent on the support of staff and we are indebted to leaders like Sister Cairns who ensure that volunteers are incorporated into the team and well looked after. Through her leadership and commitment volunteer involvement benefits all.”
Anne added: “Sister Cairns has introduced a Ward Dementia Champion who works closely with the Trust’s Volunteer office to identify and source resources for the Dementia Friend role. She has made it her business to get to know the volunteers by name and to make them feel welcome and appreciated.  The volunteers know they are valued and there is no doubt the volunteers enrich the patient experience.”
Speaking of Niall, Anne said: “Niall is a very valued volunteer at the Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex.  He has been volunteering since 2014 attending weekly. He assists those who need help at the self check-in, offers directions and if required escorts patients, visitors to their destination”.
Anne continued: “Niall has excellent interpersonal skills and is very popular with patients, visitors and staff.  He brings joy and sunshine to his role which in turn translates into a very positive interaction with all those he encounters - nothing is too much bother for him”.
Speaking about his role as a Meet and Greet volunteer at the Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex Niall Millar said: “I really enjoy meeting people and helping them to check in at the Kiosk for their appointment. It can be an anxious time for people coming to the hospital and my role is to make the journey easier for them.  Volunteering does make a difference to people in my local community.”

Helpforce is a national movement on a mission to improve the lives of NHS staff, patients and communities through the power of volunteering. It is working with hospitals and healthcare workers to help shape the future of volunteering in the NHS. Backed by leaders in the world of healthcare, it aims to make community-integrated healthcare the norm across the UK.