The Only National Awards For Non-Medical / Non-Clinical NHS Staff & Volunteers


Award Category:

Volunteer of the year

Individual or Team Nomination?


Qualifying Qualities

In these challenging times, nominators were asked to show how the nominee had demonstrated the following qualities:

  • Exceptional work ethic - going above and beyond their job description, especially in the past 12 months.
  • Outstanding achievement/s in work or outside of the organisation where relevant.
  • Drive for innovation and proactive leadership in these challenging times.
  • High level of interpersonal skills, such as kindness, empathy, loyalty and thoughtfulness to staff and patients.
  • A resilience considering Covid to their role and to the health and wellbeing of their colleagues.

Nominators Answer

Nominee's story :

Bidge Garton is nothing short of a legend. She has volunteered at the Royal Sussex County Hospital for an astonishing 38 years. After beginning in a ward on 14th April 1983 she moved to the busy A&E Department in 1984, where she stayed until retiring from volunteering in June 2021, providing reassurance, comfort, and kindness to patients and supporting the medical and nursing teams. Her support has touched an immeasurable number of people in the hospital over the years. Bidge always goes above and beyond what is expected. She volunteered in A&E several times each week including overnight, and often signing up for the busiest shift on a Saturday night (as well as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). Alongside her outstanding long service, Bidge has been a dedicated and selfless fundraiser for A&E. She went far beyond the call of duty to set up a new initiative called 999 Teddy Bear Club to familiarise young children from local primary schools with the hospital, hosting visits for years so children would not be alarmed if they needed to come to A&E or travel in an ambulance. Bidge developed a specialism in bereavement support, and successfully campaigned for a new space where bereaved families could be informed their loved ones had passed away. Recognition has come aplenty! She was nominated by an A&E consultant to represent the Department at Buckingham Palace in 1999; she was named Volunteer of the Year by the local paper in 2011 and by the Trust in 2019; she was a winner in the Best of Health and Social Care Awards in 2008 and has been praised by the Daily Mail as an Unsung Hero of the Year. Bidge retired from volunteering in June 2021. Her warmth and character will continue to be felt by everyone in the Department. The relatives' room was re-named in her honour at a ceremony attended by A&E staff, Voluntary Services, and Chief Nurse Carolyn Morrice.

Supporting Documents

Please click on the documents below to view the supporting documents.

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