Volunteer of the year
Individual or Team Nomination?
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.
Nominee's story :
I first met Hugh Chamberlain in February 2021 when I advertised for a volunteer gardener to help keep the staff wellbeing garden at Amersham – The Rainbow Garden – tidy and weed free. The garden had been developed following funding received from NHSCharitiesTogether for staff wellbeing during Covid19 in 2020 but I knew it would need TLC coming into the spring/summer. In that first year Hugh developed a planting scheme and set about transforming the rainbow garden from a green space to a beautiful sanctuary for staff.
Over the last 3 years Hugh has increased the number of gardens looked after from 1 to 8 and he’s now the leader of a band of around 20 regular volunteer gardeners who come in rain and shine to make a difference to our patients and staff at Amersham Hospital, in fact they even have their own Facebook page: Amersham Hospital Gardens Project which has over 350 followers and a reach of over 10,000.
He and his merry band of volunteers have used their contacts in the local community and social media to raise the profile of the work they are doing in the Trust, gain interest from local business and community groups which has enabled them to refurbish and replant 7 more gardens and more are in the pipeline. They really are a transformational group, and the gardens really must be seen to be believed. We'd love to show them to you!
In conjunction with the Trust's charity, who continue also to fund some of the project, we hosted NHS75 birthday party to thank all the volunteers for their dedication, commitment, love and kindness. We invited our community supporters along too and it was an enormous success, despite the weather. Attendees included: Barnett Waddington, McCarthy Stone, Amersham Community Board and the Amersham Freemasons to name a few. The project is Dobbies Beaconsfield Community partner of the year and through the volunteers’ connections we received plant donations from the Hampton Court Flower show as well as members of the local community.
The groups most recent innovation is re-wilding parts of the hospital site in support of the Trust’s and the NHS’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and supporting biodiversity. Many rare species of insect and butterfly depend on chalk wildflower meadows and these meadows are in decline which is why this project is so exciting. Hugh and his team collaborated with Wild Amersham to make it happen and we are all looking forward to seeing the meadow in full bloom in 2024.
Hugh and the team are well known around the site now and the garden spaces are well used, we even used one of the gardens during our remembrance ceremony in November.
The work that Hugh and the team do really is a labour of love, and I want to say a huge thank you to them for everything they continue to do for our patients and our staff, transforming these gardens and supporting the health and wellbeing of the users of these beautiful spaces.
Please click on the documents below to view the supporting documents.
View Document 1