Part 1 of The 2019 Unsung Hero Awards – The Scene is Set!20th March 2019
On Friday, March 1st 2019, the Unsung Hero Awards celebrated in style at The Hilton, Manchester, with over 350 guests in attendance.
We welcomed NHS ‘Unsung Heroes’ from Trusts across the UK, including locations as diverse as Borders, Cardiff and Kent. We were also joined by a strong cohort of Senior Management from National Trusts and our fantastic Sponsors and Partners: max20, Cerner, Enovation, Reed, Blair Shepherd, Pannone Corporate and Prestige Flowers.
Our Award Presenters this year included, Chris Browne from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and a UHA Ambassador. Chris was also in attendance last year and helped officially open our nominations back in September at Alder Hey, with Antony Cotton from Coronation Street and Antony’s mum Enid Dunn, a former UHA winner. Chris is an inspiration to all and despite having a disability will travel hours to and from Alder Hey Hospital each day for work. He is agreeted warmly by all those who work with him, including the patients.
Another presenter of note was Marguerita Gallagher from The Christie, who has the unusual, but highly important job of organising Weddings for terminally ill patients. Marguerita herself was nominated in 2018 for her role as The Christie Wedding Planner and it was noted in her nomination text that she really does go “above and beyond” to help those whose last wish is to be wed to the one they love.
Once our Champagne Drinks Reception had drawn to a close, and people had sufficiently mingled and enjoyed the close-up card work of our magician Ian Lavin, guests were seated so the Awards could begin.
This year Don Tomlinson, founder of the UHA, was our compere. Even though it was his first time on stage, his warmth, lack of nerves and genuine excitement was obvious to all.
As the Event got underway, we welcomed our first key note speaker to the stage: Amy Overend. Amy is a Specialised Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse, as well as previously having worked within Adult Critical Care and Cancer Care. Amy spoke compassionately and with pride when referencing all Non-Medical/Non-Clinical members of staff who helped her on her own journey as a Nurse in the NHS. Amy also spoke of NHS Volunteers, who were paramount in assisting in events such as the Grenfell Tower Disaster of 2017, and their involvement in dealing hands-on with the severely affected victims.
After Amy’s speech ended, to a wide round of applause, dinner was served! The room was bathed in ambient background music and guests happily dined on an excellent choice of dishes catering to a wide choice of tastes, including Vegetarian and Vegan options. Once guests were suitably “fed and watered” the Awards began!
Please look out for Part 2 next week…
Written by Laura Tomlinson | Relationship Manager Unsung Hero Awards