Volunteer at The Royal Oldham Hospital scoops first Volunteer of the Year Award at local NHS Trust Awards

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Volunteer at The Royal Oldham Hospital scoops first Volunteer of the Year Award at local NHS Trust Awards
04 July 2014

A VOLUNTEER and unsung hero at The Royal Oldham Hospital is celebrating after scooping the first ever Volunteer of the Year Award at The Pennine Acute Trust’s 5th annual staff awards event.

At a special final awards ceremony, Olympic rower and endurance adventurer James Cracknell OBE announced that Fred Eades had won the award for his volunteering supporting the physiotherapy amputee class at The Royal Oldham Hospital for the last seven years.

Fred‘s volunteering came about after he attended the cardiac rehabilitation class as a patient and he was looking for something to keep him occupied in his retirement. He now assists in the class every Friday morning and his help is described by the physiotherapy manager who nominated him, as invaluable.

The class is for patients who have recently had an amputation and are working towards walking with a prosthetic limb, which for many is a difficult and worrying time. Fred is described as brilliant at being able to reassure patients and puts them at ease by being interested in them and bringing some humour to the class.

He makes a huge difference to the smooth running of the class for patients and staff. He allows clinical staff the time to focus on their clinical work so the class is much more efficient and also helps patients when they arrive, assists patients in their wheelchairs, arranges refreshments and helps patients get ready for their ambulance pick up.

Fred said: “I felt overwhelmed when I heard that I had won the award. I am 72 now and it is so nice to be well thought of. I get a lot of satisfaction out of helping in the class and I feel that I can help the patients as I know what it is like to attend specialist classes at the hospital as a patient. In fact I don’t think of it as helping the patients and staff, I think of it as meeting up with a big bunch of friends!”

The event was fully paid for and supported by a number of sponsors including: Vinci Construction UK Ltd; NG Bailey; Weightmans; Mitie; Philips; G2 Speech; Kainos Evolve; Sitekit; Lloyds Pharmacy; Corporate Design Company and G4S.

The Volunteer of the Year Award was sponsored by G4S Facilities Management.

Pictured: Fred receives the volunteer of the year award from James Cracknell OBE and Stuart Mold of G4S Facilities Management.