We sat down with Unsung Hero Award winners and our proud ambassadors, Enid Dunn and James Long, to find out how winning the award has affected their lives – both personally and professionally, and to see what the added recognition means to them.
An introduction to the Unsung Hero Award
The GoToJobBoard Unsung Hero Award is now in its third year, and for 2016/17, it is set to be bigger and better than ever. Our aim is to shout loud and proud about the hard work Non-Medical/Non-Clinical NHS staff do on a daily basis – work that is sometimes overlooked in favour of doctors and nurses, despite non-medical employees making up nearly half of the workforce.
We can’t, however, talk about Unsung Hero Award without mentioning our wonderful winners from the past two years: Enid Dunn, Rehanah Sadiq and James Long from 2016, or look back to 2015 when Ghislaine Webster, Susan Buckley and Billy Fisk won.
We were delighted to catch up with two of our ambassadors to find out their feelings about the Unsung Hero Award.
Meet our Unsung Hero Award ambassadors
We visited Enid Dunn, one of the winners of our 2016 award – see how delighted she was to be nominated then to actually hear that she had won!
James Long, who works in St Pancras hospital, London, kindly answered some questions about the award for us. See what he had to say.
How did you feel when you won?
I actually didn't know that I had been nominated, so winning was a great surprise. I received a phone call from Zara, a member of our comms team, but I thought that she might be winding me up because we had something of a history of doing that!
It was very humbling winning the award, as is any positive recognition from your peers – especially when you're enjoying what you do.
How did you start working for the NHS?
I worked for a service provider at a different local trust and found that there were transferable skills that would be beneficial, but also wanted to explore a greater amount of patient contact and understand how our patients, visitors and staff could be better supported. When a suitable opportunity – with a team with a similar vision and values – became available, I applied.
What inspires you each day to do the work you do?
I'm quite sure that there are not many people that would choose to be in hospital if it was a straight choice. I hope that some of the things that we have put in place make their stay with us as positive as it can be – inspiration comes from knowing we are making the experience as comfortable as we can – In speaking to the patients and understanding that we can always do more.
Who is your Unsung Hero and why?
Professionally, I think I would be doing us all a disservice not to mention everyone that I work with here and have been lucky enough to work with across my time within the NHS. I could write a huge list (which I am sure you will be thankful that I’m not - but I will name a couple...)... My colleague Janet has worked in my building for 18 years and with the NHS since leaving school. She has been a go-to-person for support for everyone that works with her.
Our volunteer team have nearly 70 years of combined voluntary support to site too – everything they do with us is to support and nurture our patient experience. Donovan is a ward housekeeper on Rochester West; he lights up the ward simply by being present – I have never seen him say no, or that anything is too much trouble for a patient – and I think that there are thousands more like Donovan throughout the NHS.
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Anyone with a ginger beard: Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor or Chuck Norris.
Unsung Hero Award 2017
This year, for the first time, the Award will culminate in a special ceremony in Manchester where the winners will be announced in front of fellow nominees – the event will take place in February 2017.
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